This week marks two years since the first Covid-19 cases were reported in Pennsylvania.
Overall for the pandemic as of Monday, The Pennsylvania Department of Health has reported 43,600 people have died from Covid-19 and has 2,764,085 overall cases. In the WJAC-TV 10-county market area, the PA DOH reports 3,221 deaths over that span and 175,555 cases.
Cambria County, which at one point in the pandemic was averaging the most cases per capita in the nation, has seen the 4th most cases per capita in the state overall for the pandemic. Somerset County also cracked the top 10.
In terms of deaths: Bedford, Cambria, Somerset, and Huntingdon counties are all in the top 10 per capita.
While the optimism heading into the second year of Covid-19 would collapse under the weight of the Delta and Omicron variants, we do begin year three of the pandemic at a promising time.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health’s seven-day case average, which less than two months ago was above 28,000, is on the verge of falling below 1,000 for the first time since early August. The positive rate has plummeted to below 5 percent, hospitalizations due to covid are also at seven-month lows, and the CDC reports more than 88 percent of those five-years-old and older have received one dose of the vaccine.
That explains why the CDC, under their more relaxed guidance for Covid-19 community levels, said heading into Monday they considered half of our local counties to have a low risk of transmission. Just one, Huntingdon, had a high rate where masks are still recommended indoors.