With rising numbers of people becoming infected by coronavirus, Lycoming County’s COVID-19 transmission level recently increased from substantial to high level, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“We had a transmission level of 108.5 new cases per 100,000 population in the seven-day period ending Aug. 22,” said Barbara Hemmendinger, a retired family medicine educator and member of the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition as well as Let’s End COVID. That places the county among the more than 90% of all U.S. counties in the high transmission category.
A “high” transmission is 100 or more cases per 100,000 people or a positivity rate of 10% or higher.
Hemmendinger, a member of the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition, said it’s a clear indication that the Delta variant has made its way into the area.
“It’s highly contagious,” she said.
Hemmendinger urged people who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID to do so.
Lycoming County has 43.5% of its populations fully vaccinated.
More than 49% have received at least one shot.
Statewide, 54% of people have been fully vaccinated.
“We can do better by vaccinating more people,” she said.
The shots, she noted, are effective and free of charge.
Vaccinations are available at local pharmacies, River Valley Health and Dental Center, and at UPMC and Geisinger clinics.
Hemmendinger said with schools ready to open across the area, it is most important for more people to be inoculated.
“For those too young to be vaccinated, they need to rely on others being safe from COVID and being vaccinated,” she said.
The Let’s End COVID group, she said, continues its work of urging people to get vaccines.
“We have been doing a lot to get the word out about COVID and how it can be prevented and mitigated,” she said.