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Centre virus outbreak slowing

Centre County’s coronavirus outbreak shows signs of easing, based on the state Department of Health’s Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard, which is updated Fridays.

Last week, the number of confirmed cases in the county for the previous seven days had risen by 27, compared with the week before, while this week, the number fell by 244, according to the dashboard.

Last week, the incidence rate, or number of new positive cases for the prior seven days, was 350, while this week, it’s 59 fewer.

The test positivity rate last week was 12%, while this week, it’s 2.6% lower.

The outbreak is still strong, however, as the county’s incidence rate remains over 50, and its positivity rate remains over 5% ­– the common thresholds of concern.

Moreover, Centre County actually tallied 22 more new cases in the past week — 623 — than it had the previous week, if probable cases are included, according to daily information provided by the department.

Those new cases bring Centre’s total to 2,854, 3.8 times as many as the number for the next highest local county, Blair.

Of the total new cases in Centre, 555, or 89%, came from Penn State students at University Park, based on a comparison with the university’s COVID-19 dashboard.

On the main campus, 2,678 students have tested positive, with 891 students awaiting results, according to the university’s dashboard.

Only 638 of the cases are currently active, according to the dashboard.

Blair County’s much milder outbreak is also slowing, according to the dashboard.

Last week, the number of confirmed cases for the previous seven days has risen by 66, while this week, the number fell by 19, according to the dashboard.

Last week, the incidence rate, or number of new positive cases for the previous seven days per 100,000 people in Blair, was 80, while this week, it was 67.

The positivity rate for Blair, however, actually rose, from 3.5% to 4%.

As in Centre County, Blair’s outbreak was fueled by its Penn State campus.

As of Friday, Penn State Altoona has had a total of 126 positive cases — 42 still active — with 155 students awaiting results.

There are 57 students in quarantine after coming in contact with others who tested positive, according to the dashboard.

In Cambria County, the number of confirmed cases is 46 people higher than last week, while the incidence rate is just over 50. The positivity rate is 3.3%.

In Huntingdon County, the confirmed case number for the past week, compared to that of the previous week, is up 14, while the incidence rate is just shy of 50. The positivity rate is 2.3%.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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