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Bradford County has seen 36 new confirmed COVID-19 cases since Tuesday (12 Wednesday and 24 Thursday), although other statistics – including the number of infected at nursing homes and personal care facilities – have remained steady.

Thursday’s statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Health mark an increase of 117 positives from this time last week while the state has recorded more than 1,000 new cases each day.

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said Pennsylvania is starting a fall resurgence, but that the state was working to expand testing and prevent outbreaks as it waits for a vaccine.

On Wednesday, the department announced Bradford County as one of seven counties included in an initial distribution of 250,000 antigen test kids due to its high rate of new cases.

A report published Tuesday showed Bradford County had the third-highest percentage of new cases, at 7.4%, based on data from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8.

“Antigen test cards are a timely, quick and easy-to-use tool for communities to receive rapid COVID-19 testing,” Levine said. “These test kits, provided by the federal government and being distributed to areas in need by the Wolf Administration, will further help communities struggling with the spread of COVID-19. Antigen tests look for pieces of proteins that make up the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19, and are another tool in our testing toolkit to help quickly identify cases.”

These tests are being provided to Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified sites such as long-term care facilities; drug, alcohol, and behavioral health treatment centers; correctional facilities; health care providers; and higher education.

“With the increase in testing and cases, the department is continuing efforts to conduct case investigations and contact tracing,” she said. “However, for these efforts to be successful, it is important for Pennsylvanians to participate in the process. If you are contacted by a case investigator or contact tracer, it is essential that you answer the phone and participate in the interview.”

Levine also reiterated that success is dependent on people wearing face coverings, washing their hands regularly and practicing social distancing.

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