DOH reports slight decrease in percent positivity for COVID-19

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — In the latest release of COVID-19 data, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is reporting a decrease in the percent positivity rate.

The percent positivity has decreased from 16.2% to 15.82%, according to the DOH. As of Dec. 18, all 67 counties in Pennsylvania are at a substantial level for transmission.

As of Dec. 17, the state has seen a seven-day case increase of 57,098 cases; the previous seven-day increase was 61,469 cases, indicating 4,371 fewer new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.

“A decrease in percent positivity this week shows that we must continue to stay the course as we prevent the spread of this virus,” Gov. Wolf said. “As we approach a number of holidays, we need to put Pennsylvania on pause and continue to follow the time-limited mitigation efforts announced last week. We need all Pennsylvanians to follow these measures as part of their collective responsibility to protect one another and the health system.”

Twenty counties in Pennsylvania have a percent positivity above 20%. Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said while case data shows some improvement, COVID-19 is continuing to place a strain on the rate of hospitalizations and ventilator use.

“We know that hospitalizations and deaths often lag after our case increases. Our hospitals are taxed and many locations have very few ICU beds available,” Dr. Levine said. “We know COVID-19 does not discriminate and is affecting every county in the commonwealth.”

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