Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Higher COVID-19 Case Rates Outside of Johnstown: Even When Excluding Prisons

Coronavirus cases have slowed over the 4th of July holiday so I thought I would take a look at how they are now distributed throughout Cambria County.  This is what the distribution of cases in the county looked like in the image below on Dec 13 when the rise in cases and deaths was at its height.

Below the image at the right is the image from the PA Dept of Health website from today.  There, we see some darker colors in the central part of the Cambria County.  (I wish blogger would let me put the images side by side.)  The graph at the top shows the testing, positivity and case rates for each of the zip codes in Johnstown (15901-15909), Ebensburg (where the county jail is located), Loretto (where a federal prison is located), the county as a whole and the state.  

In the graph, there is a high positivity and case rate for the 15940 zip code (Loretto) while the testing rate is not especially high there.  A Federal Correctional Institution is located there called FCI Loretto as well as St. Francis University.  Only active cases are reported by the federal department of corrections on their website.  FCI Loretto reached its height in active cases on December 12.




Area

Testing Rate

Positive rate

cases/100000

% change pos

% Change in cases

Total Johnstown

42.86%

21.24%

9104.45

-19%

-33.46%

Outside Johnstown

52.21%

26.21%

13682.95

-1%

-6.88%

Outside Johnstown & Ebensburg

51.63%

26.43%

14693.59

7%

14.49%

Outside Johnstown, Ebensburg, & Loretto

51.82%

24.77%

12833.79

 

 

Cambria Total

47.54%

23.97%

11393.17

 

 


In the table above, I compared the rates of infection and the positivity rates for the city of Johnstown (zip codes 15901-15909) to the rest of the county, the rest of the county outside of Ebensburg and Johnstown, the rest of the county outside of Ebensburg, Johnstown, and Loretto, and Cambria County as a whole.  We see that the rates for Johnstown are 23% lower than the rest of the county for the positivity rate and likewise we see a 50% difference in the population adjusted case rates.  When we exclude Ebensburg and Johnstown from the county totals we we an additional 1% increase in the positivity rate and a 7% increase in the case rate.  When we exclude Ebensburg, Johnstown, and Loretto from the county totals, we see a 6% decrease in the positive rate and a 13% decrease in the case rate.  The case rate in the area outside of Johnstown, Ebensburg and Loretto is still 13% higher than the overall county rate.  The positivity rate is 3% higher for for this area compared to the rest of the county.

The testing rates for the three partitions of Cambria County are higher than the Johnstown rate.  Does this mean that there needs to be more testing inside of the six zip codes that make up Johnstown?  More testing is usually done when someone presents with symptoms.  I do not have vaccination or mortality data at the zip code level so some questions I cannot answer.


Hopefully on a lighter note, I remind you all that I will be having a discussion of my book at Classic Elements this Saturday at 1PM.  You are all welcome.  They are located at 314 Main St. in Johnstown, PA 15901.

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