CDC Updates Schuylkill County COVID Transmission Rate to “Substantial”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated Schuylkill County’s COVID-19 community transmission level to Substantial.
According to the agency’s data updated on Sunday, Schuylkill County was bumped into a Substantial level of community transmission due to the number of cases diagnosed over the last 7 days locally.
Schuylkill County Now at “Substantial” COVID Community Transmission Rate
Over the last week, there have been 83 new cases of COVID-19 in Schuylkill County. That’s a 232% increase over the previous 7 days. And that’s equal to 58.7 per 100,000 people. Any amount between 50-99 per 100,000 people will get a county slapped with that Substantial transmission rate status. A county can also get labeled as a Substantial risk of community transmission if the percent positivity rate is between 8-9.99%. Currently, Schuylkill County’s percent positivity rate is just 6.04%. Testing has increased to 1,193 conducted over the last 7 days, a nearly 55% increase.
However, despite the increase in number of cases, all other metrics for Schuylkill County remain relatively low.
Deaths related to COVID aren’t even showing on the CDC’s charts. There have been only 4 hospital admissions due to COVID over the past 7 days here. And only 2.66% of hospital beds are being used for COVID patients.
The CDC says there are about 16% of counties in the US with a Substantial community transmission rate. Most (72%) have a High rate of transmission right now.
What Does Substantial COVID Community Transmission Mean for You?
So, what does this mean for Schuylkill County residents? Right now, nothing.
Even though the CDC recommends that all people – especially in areas where community transmission rates equal Schuylkill County’s – wear a face mask indoors, there are no emergency orders in place so face mask requirements are up to the discretion of business and property owners.
One place where this might make a difference is in public schools. While no Schuylkill County school district said they’d require face masks to be worn by students, they all left the door open to a possible return to mandatory face masks if COVID transmission levels rose locally.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said last week that, for now, he and his administration are putting that decision in the hands of local school officials.
Over the course of August, we’re likely to see the debates heat up over face masks in schools between parents, teachers, and school boards.
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