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Northampton County residents should mask indoors regardless of vaccination status, per CDC guidance

Northampton County falls under a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation Tuesday that calls for a return to masking indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

The CDC recommends indoor masking in counties showing substantial or high rates of COVID-19 transmission.

In Pennsylvania, most of the state is considered to be in either low or moderate transmission status as of July 25, with two counties showing high rates of transmission and five counties with substantial transmission. The high-rate counties are Crawford and Cameron counties, and the substantial-rate counties are Adams, Lawrence, Wyoming, Monroe and Northampton.

The CDC determines the transmission rate by studying new cases per 100,000 people and the positivity rate of new tests, both over the past seven days. Counties with substantial transmission have between 50-99 new cases per week, those with high transmission have more than 100.

As for positivity rates, counties with substantial transmission have between an 8% to 9.99% positivity rate, while those with high transmission have a positivity rate higher than 10%.

Should the two metrics fall into different categories, the higher is taken, as shown with Crawford County below.

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According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the CDC, the case breakdown for these counties between July 19 and 24 are as follows:

ADAMS COUNTY: 50 new cases, or 49 new cases per 100,000 people and a 3.5% positivity rate. As of Tuesday, 46.3% percent of the population above age 10 has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

CAMERON COUNTY: 4 new cases, or 90 new cases per 100,000 people and a 13% positivity rate. As of Tuesday, 54% percent of the population above age 10 has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

CRAWFORD COUNTY: 29 new cases, or 34 new cases per 100,000 people and a 10.3% positivity rate. As of Tuesday, 45.7% percent of the population above age 10 has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

LAWRENCE COUNTY: 48 new cases, or 56 new cases per 100,000 people and an 8.3% positivity rate. As of Tuesday, 47.9% percent of the population above age 10 has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

MONROE COUNTY: 85 new cases, or 50 new cases per 100,000 people and a 5% positivity rate. As of Tuesday, 51.9% percent of the population above age 10 has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY: 169 new cases, or 55 new cases per 100,000 people and a 4.9% positivity rate. As of Tuesday, 64% percent of the population above age 10 has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

WYOMING COUNTY: 18 new cases, or 67 new cases per 100,000 people and an 8% positivity rate. As of Tuesday, 56% percent of the population above age 10 has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

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The CDC also recommended that everyone in K-12 schools wear masks regardless of vaccination status as well, a guidance that Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration already said they would not require of Pennsylvania students.

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