With four new coronavirus deaths in Lucerne County this week and a faster count of cases, County Chief C. David Pedri is urging residents to “start bending down” in compliance with prevention protocols.
“I walk around the county and people say the number is good. The was, but now I’m looking at an alarming trend here – a scary trend, “Pedri said on Friday. “This should be a wake-up call that the virus is still here.”
Three of the deaths were confirmed by the county court’s office Thursday, and the fourth was confirmed Friday, he said.
These deaths have not yet appeared in the state’s daily case reports.
The victims were a 92-year-old woman and 83-year-old man in a nursing home and two inpatients ̵
Pedri said the county’s last death linked to COVID-19 was Sept. 21.
“And then we have four deaths confirmed in two days. We are not out of the woods yet, ”said Pedri.
The county had 272 new confirmed cases of coronavirus from Oct. 9 to Thursday – an increase of 138 from the previous week’s 134, according to the state’s latest dashboard update on early warning, released Friday.
As a result, the incidence of the county increased, or the number of cases per. 100,000 inhabitants, from 42.2 to 85.6 over a two-week period, it said.
The “positivity rate”, or the percentage of diagnostic tests that gave positive results, jumped to 6% compared to the previous week’s 3.9%.
County increases were also reported in the three remaining benchmarks:
• Average daily admissions to coronavirus went from 6.6 to 16.3 over the last two weeks.
• On average, 1.1 coronavirus patients were in a ventilator in the last seven days, compared with 0.3 in the previous week.
• County hospital visits due to coronavirus-like diseases increased from 0.6% to 0.7%.
Based on these numbers, the county’s school districts are now more entrenched in the “moderate” virus spread ranking, meaning they are advised to avoid full personal instruction.
To advance to the “low” spread ranking, counties must have both fewer than 10 cases per. 100,000 inhabitants over a seven-day period and a positivity rate of less than 5%, the state has said. Districts in counties classified as “low” transmission should consider full personal instruction or a mixed system where some students are in school while others learn remotely at home, the state said.
At one point earlier in the pandemic, the county was among those with the most cases anywhere in the country, Pedri said.
“The only reason we could change it was because the citizens took it very seriously,” Pedri said.
Like many, Pedri said he is tired of always wearing a mask and keeping his distance from others, and he has at times failed his guard when things fell apart.
“But we need to remain vigilant at this time,” he added, expressing concern about the threatening impact of people spending several times indoors with the colder weather.
County hospitals have coronavirus patients, but none on ventilators or in intensive care units as of Friday morning, he said.
“Our medical providers are ready, willing and able to meet any need,” Pedri said.
Pennsylvania also saw an increase in cases, the latest update said.
There were 8,723 additional cases across the country in the week ending Thursday, or 1,325 more than the previous week’s 7,398.
With this increase, state cases per. 100,000 from 57.8 to 68.1. The state’s positivity rate rose from 3.9% to 4.3% last week.
The remaining government dashboard updates, posted at www.health.pa.gov.
• Average daily admissions increased from 640.1 t0 758.7.
• The daily average number of patients in ventilators increased from 75.9 to 87.6.
• The percentage of hospital visits due to coronavirus-like diseases throughout the country fell from 0.9% to 0.8%.
Neighbor Lackawanna County also saw an increase in some benchmarks. Its new cases from week to week rose from 162 to 325, causing the incidence to rise from 76.9 to 154.2, the dashboard said. The county’s positivity rate is now 8.2% compared to 5.3% two weeks ago.