Wolf Labels Schuylkill County an Area of COVID Concern
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says the rate of positive COVID-19 tests in Schuylkill County recently is concerning.
On Monday, the state Dept. of Health reported another 18 positive cases of coronavirus in Schuylkill County. And it also reported another COVID-related death locally.
That brings the COVID-19 death toll in Schuylkill County to 58, an increase of 6 since Sept. 24.
Wolf Labels Schuylkill County “Concerning” Over COVID Positivity Rate
The one statistic that caused Wolf to designate Schuylkill County as an area of concern right now is our percent-positivity rate. That’s the measure of the amount of people who’ve tested positive for coronavirus.
Statewide, the percent-positivity rate rose from 3.2% to 3.7% in the last week. However, in Schuylkill County in the last week, 6.5% of people who got tested for COVID-19 tested positive. Schuylkill County is 1 of 11 counties in Pennsylvania that Wolf labeled as concerning in his weekly Early Warning Monitoring update.
Here’s a look at the 11 counties and their percent-positive rate:
- Schuylkill: 6.5%
- Centre: 9.4%
- Northumberland: 9.3%
- Snyder: 7.8%
- Lebanon: 6.6%
- Montour: 6.6%
- Perry: 6.5%
- Wayne: 6.1%
- Lackawanna: 6.0%
- Indiana: 5.9%
- Lawrence: 5.4%
Schuylkill County remains in the Moderate classification for community transmission of coronavirus. Most Pennsylvania counties are in that designation. However, nearby Northumberland County was bumped into the Substantial classification in this latest update from the Governor and Dept. of Health.
“Our percent positivity and incidence rate for the commonwealth both increased this week, which serves as a reminder the virus still remains a threat in our communities,” Wolf said in a statement on Monday.
Will Schools Return to More Virtual Learning?
In Schuylkill County, we’ve seen more schools return to a more full-time in-person learning model, or at least they’ve expressed their intent to do so.
At Pottsville Area, we’re about a week away from some students beginning to return to a 4-day in-person schedule. However, when school officials detailed that plan, they did say that Schuylkill County exceeding a 5% positivity rate could send the district backward on its plan for more in-person learning.
The plan did not specify how long the percent-positive rate would have to be above that threshold to force a schedule adjustment. That plan does indicate the county would have to go below the threshold in order to consider returning to the 4-day in-person schedule.
Wolf says his administration will discuss school schedules with the counties that have a “substantial” level of transmission.
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- PA Health Dept. Reports 2 More COVID-19 Deaths in Schuylkill County – Death Toll at 55
- State Reports 53rd COVID Death in Schuylkill County – Daily Case Totals Remain High
- Recent Spike in COVID Cases in Schuylkill County Partly Linked to Nursing Homes
- Mahanoy Area Threatens Kids with Virtual School for Violating Face Mask Policy