BELLEFONTE — Center County is experiencing a renewed surge in COVID-19 numbers.
Center County has returned to the high community level for COVID-19, according to the latest weekly update from the Centers for Disease Control, released Thursday night. For the past 12 weeks, Center County has been at low levels.
With Center County now at a high level, the CDC recommends universal masking in indoor public places.
At the community level, it measures new cases and new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 people over seven days, along with the percentage of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. To be at the high level, the CDC needs 200 or more new cases per 100,000, with 10 or more COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000, and/or a seven-day average of 10 percent of hospital beds made up of inpatient COVID-19 patients are occupied.
Center County had a case rate of 248.79 and 13.7 new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 people over the past week, with 5.7 percent of inpatient beds occupied by inpatients with COVID-19.
Mount Nittany Medical Center had a total of 10 hospitalized COVID-19 patients Thursday, down from 11 each for the past four days. One is in intensive care and no one is on a ventilator. The patients are between 36 and 97 years old. Seven are vaccinated and three are not, according to the hospital’s inpatient COVID dashboard.
Over the past seven days, Mount Nittany had an average daily COVID inpatient count of 10.85.
Center County added a total of 404 new cases over the past week, a 30 percent increase from new cases in the previous seven days, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s weekly update Wednesday. The county’s seven-day moving average of 57 — the highest since Feb. 12 this year.
Center County has had a total of 36,730 COVID-19 cases (32,558 confirmed and 4,172 probable) as of March 2020.
The DOH also recorded three new deaths attributed to the virus among Center County residents. A total of 355 Center County residents have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Statewide, 28 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties—including Clinton County—are at high levels. A total of 15 are at the low level and 24 at the medium level.
Pennsylvania registered 29,664 new positives in the last week, up six percent from the previous week.
Across the Commonwealth, the countrywide caseload since the start of the pandemic is now 2,907,324.
In terms of positivity rate, Center County’s PCR test positivity rate for the week of May 18-24 was 18.9 percent, up from 14.2 percent for the previous seven days, according to the DOH Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard. The rate was the 20th highest among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, the DOH said.
The nationwide positivity rate was 17.3 percent, up from 16.6 percent in the previous seven days.
Regarding immunizations, 95,945 people in Center County are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
That’s an increase of 143 since May 18, and 14,298 are partially covered (up 22). First booster doses were given to 51,442 county residents (up 327) and 7,461 received a second booster dose (up 859).
Across the county, a total of 70.88 percent of residents have received at least one dose. Overall, 60.2 percent are fully vaccinated and 52.5 percent are fully vaccinated with a booster shot, according to the CDC. Among adult residents, 76.2 percent have received at least one dose, 64.4 percent are fully vaccinated, and 55 percent have received a booster shot.
Nationwide, 78.5 percent of adults and 69 percent of the general population are fully vaccinated.
Center County residents looking for immunization appointments are available through Mount Nittany Health, Center Volunteers in Medicine, other pharmacies and providers listed at vaccinate.gov.
All persons aged 12 and over are entitled to a booster vaccination against COVID-19. Everyone aged 50 and over and certain immunocompromised individuals are now eligible for a second booster shot.
For more information on COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov. For information in Pennsylvania, see health.pa.gov.
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