No New Cases but Warren County Moves to ‘Moderate’ Community Transmission Level

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WARREN, Pa. – Warren County’s new case streak ended at seven days, but that stretch resulted in the county moving to the “moderate” level of community transmission.

No new cases were reported during the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s daily announcement Monday, but the 12 reported from Nov. 1 through Nov. 6 pushed Warren County from “low” to “moderate” transmission levels.

The state introduced the transmission levels in July as a way to measure community spread of COVID-19. The tiers are based on incidence rate per 100,000 residents and PCR percent positivity over a 7-day period.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education encouraged schools to use the levels as part of determining whether to have full in-school learning, remote learning or a blended learning model. Based on the PDE recommendations, districts in counties with “low” transmission are recommended to use full in-person or blended learning. Districts in counties with “moderate” levels are recommended for blended or full remote learning and those districts in counties with “substantial” levels are recommended for full remote learning.

During Monday’s regular meeting of the Warren County School District Board of Directors, Superintendent Amy Stewart explained a change to the district’s Health and Safety Phased Reopening Plan

“We did have one positive case within those 11 (last week), but that’s what makes it really difficult to look at the numbers and try to draw meaning from them,” Stewart said. “Because those numbers can come in real time, or they could be two weeks old by the time they get here. That’s not anybody’s fault, it’s just the backlog.”

The addition to the Reopening Plan reads:

“The WCSD Pandemic Team will track and monitor COVID data closely to determine if closure is necessary based upon local data. The data recorded by the State is not always accurate, hits the data base at unpredictable times, and is not reflective of what is really happening in real time in the schools. In addition, since the WCSD is a county-wide district, local data will assist in making decisions by attendance areas and schools. When at all possible, the District will work with the Department of Health and / or County Public Safety to contact trace in an effort to have the appropriate individuals quarantined as opposed to a full closure.”

Those counties with “low” levels of community transmission have less than 10 incidents per 100,000 and less than five percent PCR positivity. “Moderate” levels are between 10 and 99 incidents per 100,000 or five to 10 percent PCR positivity. Those with “substantial” transmission have 100 or more incidents per 100,000 or more than 10 percent PCR positivity.

Warren County had been in the “low” tier since the measurement was introduced with the week ending July 31 until Monday.