Coronavirus

Potter County was one of the first in the state to enter a “high” COVID-19 transmission level this month, but still has one of the lowest vaccination rates.

The county had been at a “moderate” transmission level since the end of July, but on Aug. 5 was one of three counties in the state to spike to a “high” level. Potter was down to substantial levels Aug. 16-Aug. 24, but is back to high as of Aug. 29, as are all other counties in Pennsylvania.

According to the Center for Disease Control, “level of community transmission” is calculated using two figures: the total number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last seven days and the percentage of positive diagnostic and screening nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), considered the “gold standard” of COVID testing, over the last seven days.

A high transmission rate is considered 100 or more cumulative cases per 100,000 people and a NAAT test positivity result of 10% or more in the past seven days. The CDC says in such places with a high transmission level, “Significant measures are needed to limit contact between persons, with priority given to maintaining essential community activities and services (e.g., health care, transportation, food and agriculture, schools).”

CDC data for Potter County shows 22 cases of COVID-19 reported over seven days between Aug. 22-28, an 83.3% increase over the previous week. The county’s positivity rate was 11.76% for the same time period, a 3.76% increase over the previous week.

No COVID-related deaths were reported in the county over the last week. Data on hospital admissions related to COVID weren’t available.

Meanwhile, Potter County is still only one of two counties in the state with a vaccination rate of less than 30%. As of Aug. 28, 28.1% (4,641 people) of the county’s total population was at least partially vaccinated; 27.5% (4,540 people) was fully vaccinated. That’s about a 1.5% increase since late July.

Vaccines are available in Potter County at the Coudersport Rite Aid (www.riteaid.com/pharmacy/scheduler), Buchanan Brothers Pharmacy (814-274-8660) and UMPC Cole (www.upmc.com/coronavirus/covid-vaccine). For more locations near you, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/How-Do-I-Get-a-COVID-19-Vaccine.html.

Please note that because the CDC updates data on a seven-day cycle, this information could be outdated. For up-to-date data, visit https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.

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