On. The COVID-19 rate is moving in a bad direction

Pennsylvania recorded a 10.3% positivity rate for COVID-19 tests over the seven days ending Thursday, a disappointing recovery in a major virus barometer.

The latest figure is one percentage point higher than the previous week, and more than double the 5% rate considered as the threshold for significant COVID-19 proliferation.

Also, during the seven days ending Thursday, Pennsylvania recorded about 2,600 more COVID-19 cases than in the previous week, according to recently released state data.

The figures show that Pennsylvania’s rise, which began around July 4, continues to follow an unstable path.

The rise stopped its sharp upward trend more than a month ago at about half the level of last winter’s rise, eventually leading to more than 200 deaths a day. But it has yet to show the steep decline that followed previous hikes, fueling concerns that could rise again as cold weather keeps Pennsylvania residents indoors and they congregate during the holidays.

The state Department of Health reported 10,848 new COVID-19 infections for Wednesday and Thursday, with daily totals exceeding Pennsylvania’s most recent seven-day average.

A positive trend is that admissions and the number of people in respirators continue to decline.

As of early Friday, Pennsylvania hospitals were caring for 2,609 COVID-19 patients, down from more than 3,000 a few weeks ago.

The state reported 91 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, raising Pennsylvania’s pandemic to 32,279.

The state said in its daily update Friday that 72.8% of Pennsylvania 18-year-olds or older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, topping the national average of 70%.

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