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COVID-19 transmissibility rates increase across Central Pa.

Community COVID-19 spread is back on the rise.

YORK, Pa. — As the Pennsylvania moves towards the start of summer, community Covid-19 spread in in the south central region is on the rise.

Four counties -- York, Mifflin, Juniata, and Adams -- all have increased their transmissibility rate from "low" to "medium" in the past few days, according to the latest CDC data.

Dr. Raghavendra Tirupathi, an infectious disease expert with WellSpan Health, says the rising is troubling.

"It makes me concerned that the rates in all of our neighboring counties...are increasing in terms of Covid-19 numbers, especially the positivity rate," Tirupathi said.

"If you are looking at transmissibility data, especially data from PA Department of Health, the rates are pretty high -- as high as 17 to 18 percent."

He says that some of the increased case count and infection spread could be attributed to immunity waning after months without vaccination.

"I think we need to attribute some of this increase to some waning immunity over the weeks…because many people are five months or beyond five months from the last booster dose."

Dr. John Goldman, infectious disease expert with UPMC, agrees this rise is concerning.

"One of the things that's a little worrisome is we're still seeing this in summer."

He says the good news is that the rise in cases is not translating to increased hospitalization or severe disease.

"We're seeing an increase in cases, but we aren't seeing the same degree of increase in severe disease. We aren't seeing the same increase in hospitalizations. We aren't seeing the same increase in deaths."

As summer travel hits its stride, his advice overall is to be cautious.

"If you're going on vacation with your elderly parent, your elderly grandparent, you’ve got to be more careful," Goldman said. "If you are doing just the vacation with yourself and your kids, you can probably take more chances."

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