The Role of Facemasks in Community Wellness
This video was produced using a sheet of laser light to reveal water droplets emitted during normal talking with and without a facemask. You can read more about the demonstration the New England Journal of Medicine. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2007800.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) “The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#How-COVID-19-Spreads
Following the Trendline of New Cases
We will use a graph of new cases to estimate whether the number of cases is growing in Bedford County. The graph below plots the number of new COVID cases in Bedford County compared to the previous day.
This graph shows the number of new cases compared to the previous day. We saw our biggest jump of four cases more than the previous day on April 23. Since then we have not had more than two new cases per day.
The graph shows the daily number of new cases for the past 30 days. This allows us to add a trendline for the number of cases over the 30 day period. The trendline is the best fitting straight line we can draw through the graph. Think if it as the average behavior of the graph.
- When the trendline is going downhill, the daily number of cases for the 30 day period is decreasing.
- When the trendline is level, the daily number of cases for the 30 day period is holding steady.
- If the trendline starts to slope uphill, the daily number of cases is increasing over the 30 day period. If the line gets steeper from day to day, the virus will be spreading more rapidly in the community.
Important to Remember
The number of new cases today is a reflection of our behavior two weeks ago. It takes two or more weeks for an increase in COVID infections to show up as reported cases. It is possible for COVID to be spreading rapidly in the county for some time before the number of reported cases tells us it is happening.
Graph of Number of Reported Bedford County Cases by Day
This graph shows the number of Bedford County COVID cases since March 30 when we did not have a case. The first case was reported March 31. You can click the graph to view an enlarged version in a new window or tab.
How Does Bedford County Compare with Neighboring Counties?
This graph shows how the number of Bedford County cases compares to neighboring counties. Each cluster of bars represents cases for the same day. You can click the graph to view an enlarged version in a new window or tab. Huntingdon was removed from the bar graph. It has an unusually high number of cases due to an outbreak among prisoners and employees at the prison.
Cases per 10,000 People in the County
We would expect the less populated counties would have fewer cases. Among Bedford and its five neighboring counties, Bedford and Huntingdon have the smallest populations, but they have the highest number of cases per 10,000 people. Cases per 10,000 people for Allegheny County has been added for a comparison to an urban area.
PA Department of Health Interactive Map Showing Cases per County and Cases per Zip Code
Use this map to follow the number of cases by zip code. The map opens in county view. Click on the county to see the number of cases within a county, or switch views to see the number of cases by zip code. Use the tabs at the bottom to switch between county data and zip code data views. (Map will open in a new window or tab.)