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Region’s virus numbers heading the wrong way

Three weeks ago — and again, two weeks ago — when the state Department of Health published its Friday updates for the early-warning COVID-19 dashboard, all three major metrics for all six local counties were trending in the right direction, an indication that things were getting decisively better after a long winter outbreak.

Last week brought a reversal in four of those 18 metrics, despite continued, if slow, progress on COVID-19 vaccinations.

This week, the reversal deepened, with 12 of the 18 metrics now unfavorable, despite more vaccinations — and Saturday’s one-year anniversary of the state’s first confirmed COVID-19 case in Montgomery County.

Huntingdon County stands out, with all three major metrics more unfavorable than in any of the other local counties:

Huntingdon’s test positivity rate is 6.3%, up 2.4 points from last week and over the threshold of concern, which is 5.

Huntingdon’s incidence rate — the number of cases per 100,000 people over the past week — is 206, up 90% from last week and over the threshold of concern, which is 50. Huntingdon’s number of new cases was up by 44.

The next most problematic numbers were in Clearfield County, where all three metrics were also heading in the wrong direction.

Clearfield’s positivity rate is 6.1%, 1.7 points higher than last week. Its incidence rate is 98, 48% higher than last week, and its number of new cases increased by 22.

All three metrics are also heading in the wrong direction in Blair and Bedford counties.

Blair’s positivity is 4.4%, below the threshold of concern, but 0.2 points higher than last week.

Blair’s incidence rate is 56, 16% higher than last week, with its new case number up by 9.

Bedford’s positivity is 4.6%, lower than the threshold of concern, but up 0.9 points. Its incidence rate is 43, lower than the threshold, but up 30%, and its new case number is up by 4.

All three metrics in Cambria and Centre counties were heading in the right direction, although their absolute numbers aren’t necessarily as favorable as some of those in the other counties.

Centre’s positivity rate is 5.6%, down 2 points, with its incidence rate at 113, down 11%. Centre’s new case number is down 36.

Cambria’s positivity is 3.2%, below the threshold of concern and down 2 points. Its incidence rate is 53, down 22%, and its new case number is down 23.

State positivity is 5.7%, down 0.6 points; incidence is 103, up 1%, and new case numbers are down 19.

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