During these unprecedented times, understanding the level of exposure to COVID-19 within our communities is necessary. Monitoring Community Transmission is a way to determine the degree to which COVID-19 has spread within a county.
A way of monitoring Community Transmission is to measure the PCR Percent Positivity in each county. PCR stands for “polymerase chain reaction,” a test that detects COVID-19 genetic material and shows if a person is infected with the virus.
The PCR Percent Positivity is determined by dividing the number of positive PCR tests by the total number of PCR tests performed. For example, if 3 COVID tests out of 100 yield positive results, the PCR Percent Positivity is 3%.
There are three Levels of Community Transmission: Low, Moderate, and Substantial. The table below shows how level of Community Transmission is determined.
|Level of Community Transmission in the County||PCR Percent Positivity
(Most Recent 7 Days)
|Low||Less than 5%|
|Moderate||5% to 10%|
|Substantial||Greater than 10%|
Providers, individuals, and families should use the Level of Community Transmission information for their county, as well as surrounding counties, to make informed choices about protecting the health and safety of individuals and staff as well as their families. This includes, but is not limited to, deciding whether to change the method of service delivery (remote versus in-person, in-home versus in congregate settings, one staff supporting one individual versus groups of individuals) and implementing or increasing other COVID-19 mitigation strategies in alignment with applicable ODP COVID-19 guidance.
The spreadsheet linked below shows the level of Community Transmission by county for the period: October 16 to October 22.
The PCR Percent Positivity for each county is extracted from the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard. The dashboard is updated weekly.