Allentown Health Bureau remains cautious as region’s COVID-19 cases drop sharply

Written by on February 10, 2022

Allentown Health Bureau remains cautious as region’s COVID-19 cases drop sharply

By Brittany Sweeney
February 10, 2022

As the Pennsylvania Department of Health reports a steady decline in the number of coronavirus cases this week, a Lehigh Valley health official is cautioning that at-home tests are making it harder to track new cases. 

A month ago, Lehigh and Northampton counties were reporting about 1,500 new COVID-19 cases per day. That number has fallen now to fewer than 200, according to state data.

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Vicky Kistler, director of the Allentown Health Bureau, says the actual drop may not be as dramatic as it looks.

“We definitely think that the count of those people who are testing positive is slowly reducing,” Kistler said. “But we’re not where the numbers indicate we are this big plummet, because really, the plummet is reflective of folks shifting to home test kits.

Kistler said in order to get a better picture of transmission rates in Allentown, the health bureau is looking at hospitalizations, the number of positive cases in schools and day care centers, and CDC reporting.

She says numbers are going down, but slowly, and that the omicron variant should still be taken seriously.

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