Showing posts with label Cambria County. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cambria County. Show all posts

Sunday, May 2, 2021

COVID-19 Cases Have Risen in Cambria County but Deaths Have Not Due to Vaccinations (so far)

The second installment of We Are All In This Together: Pandemic-Johnstown 1918 has come out and can be seen above.  Recently there has been a rise in cases as spring has sprung.  Since the terrible months of December and January, the 7 day average for new cases fell from 214.29 on Dec 11 to 14.29 on March 20.  Since then, the 7 day average has risen to a high of 58.43 on April 19 to 49.29 today as can be seen in the graph below.  This rise has occurred after the vaccine rollout began on Jan 8.

Since the cases have risen, the deaths in the county have remained fairly stable as can be seen in the above graph.  The 7 day average for deaths reached a high of 8.14 deaths per day on Dec 17 (6 days after the spike in cases).  Since March 16, the average has not risen above 1 death per day.  

The graph above shows the trend in the 7 day average for new cases (black line), testing (red dotted line) and full vaccinations (orange line).  The lines for testing and vaccinations are on a logarithmic scale.  The number of full vaccinations per day has fallen from a high of 855.4 on April 14 to 399.9 today.  On April 13 all Pennsylvanian's over age 16 became eligible to receive the vaccine.  To date 40,920 of 31.43% in Cambria County have been fully vaccinated.

This graph from the state department of health shows that the majority of cases are between the ages of 20 and 59 throughout the state.  This information is not available at the county level.

This final graph shows that the vast majority of deaths in PA have been between ages 60 and 99.  The early phases of the vaccine rollout have focused on groups most vulnerable such as the elderly.  The vaccinations seem to be curtailing the number of deaths even though there has been a rise in cases.  The younger age groups still need to be vaccinated to stop the spread of the virus.  

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Friday, April 16, 2021

Some Clues for Racial Disparities for Cambria County

Last week I posted on the racial disparities in health outcomes in Cambria County.  These disparities are primarily what is driving the low rankings for the county in the County Health Rankings.

County Health Rankings provides a wealth of statistics called health factors which provide clues to these disparities.  Here is a list:

  • 9% of the live births in the county from 2013-2019 are low birthweight which is 1% higher then the state rate. 16% of African American births are low birthweight compared to 12% of Hispanic and 6% of Caucasian births. in the county
  • The teen birth rate is 20 per 1,000 live births from 2013-2019 compared to 17/1,000 for PA.  For African Americans it is 54/1,000, 19/1,000 for Hispanics, and 18/1,000 in the county.
  • The drug overdose death rate from 2017-2019 was 52 per 100,000 for the county.  For Pennsylvania it is 37/100,000.  For African-Americans the rate was 112/100,000  and for Caucasians it was 50/100,000.  According to the website Overdose free PA, there were 18 overdose deaths among African Americans (orange bar in the above graph) in the county from 2017-2019 out of 204 total overdose deaths or 8% of the total.

  • The rate of preventable hospital stays per 100,000 Medicare enrollees for 2018 is 5,762 in the county compared 4464 for PA.  The African American Rate is 6,154 while it is 5,779 for Caucasians in the county.
  • The rate of mammography screening is 42% for the county for Medicare enrollees for 2018 while it is 45% for the county.  For African Americans it is 31% compared to 38% for Asians, 50% for Hispanics, and 42% of Caucasians in the county.
  • The rate of flu vaccinations is 41% overall for the county for Medicare enrollees in 2018 compared to 53% for PA.  For African Americans the rate was 36% in the county while it was 45% for Asians and Hispanics and 41% for Caucasians.
  • The overall rate of child poverty was 23% for the county for 2019 while it was 17% for PA.  For African Americans it was 67% in the county while it was 19% for Asians, 42% for Hispanics, and 20% for Caucasians.
  • Median income in the county was $48,800 for 2019 while it was $63,500 in PA.  For African Americans it was 18,900 in the county while for Asians it was $90,000, for Hispanics it was $35,100, and for Caucasians it was $48,100.
  • The injury death rate was 128 per 100,000 for the county from 2015-2019 while it was 89/100,000 for PA.  For African-Americans it was 221/100,000 and 126/100,000 for Caucasians in the county.
  • The homicide death rate was 6/100,000 for the county from 2013-2019 while it was 5/100,000 from 2013-2019.  For African Americans it was 50/100,000 while it was 4/100,000 for Caucasians in the county.
  • For firearm fatalities the rate was 16/100,000 from 2015-2019 while it was 12/100,000 for PA.  For African Americans it was 41/100,000 and 15/100,000 for Caucasians in the county.
  • For reading scores, the average grade level was 3.1 for 3rd graders in both the County and PA in 2018.  For African Americans it was at a 2.2 grade level and 3.2 for Caucasians in the county.
  • For math scores, the average grade level for 3rd graders was 3.1 for both the county and PA in 2018.  For African Americans it was at a 2.0 grade level and 3.2 for Caucasians in the county
  • Finally the % of residents who drive alone to work for the county was 82% from 2015-2019 while it was 76% for PA.  For African Americans, 62% drives alone to work in the county while it was 65% for Hispanics and 84% for Caucasians.  This could be due to African Americans and Hispanics being more likely to rely on public transportation to get to work.
These 14 statistics provide some clues to the nature of the racial/ethnic disparities in Cambria County.  They suggest violence and poverty as the main explanatory factors.  One must be careful not to assume that they tell the whole story.  They do provide some clues to where public health resources need to be allocated.  It remains to be seen how the Coronavirus pandemic will interact with these health issues.

**Related Posts**

The 2021 County Health Rankings are Out

County Health Rankings and Corona Virus Cases: Lower ranked counties have fewer cases in PA (except for Philly)

Holiday Poverty Estimates for Johnstown and Cambria County

Saturday, April 10, 2021

African Americans Still Lag Behind in Life Expectancy in Cambria County


Cambria County











African American








*Pennsylvania life expectancy by race numbers are from 2010 (Measure of America, 2013) 

In my book, Wuthering Depths in Johnstown: By the Numbers.  I wrote extensively on the 2020 County Health Rankings for Cambria County (where Johnstown is located).  The number that jumped out at me most was racial disparities in mortality data in Cambria county where African Americans had a life expectancy of 65.6 years, Caucasians 76.2 years, and Hispanics 89.0 years.  

This year's life expectancy numbers from the 2021 County Health Rankings are displayed above in the table above for the years 2017-2019 (corona virus deaths are not included).  Cambria County's overall life expectancy increased from 75.6 to 76.1 years (63rd in PA).  Among counties with life expectancies by race, African American life expectancy increased by 1.7 years to 67.3 (the lowest in PA).  Caucasians increased by 0.2 years to 76.4 (3rd lowest ).  Hispanics increased the most by 2.3 years to 91.3 (5th highest in the state).  

Counties with miniscule racial/ethnic minority populations do not have a breakdown for life expectancy by race.  African Americans comprise 3.5% (10.9% of PA) of the county and Hispanics make up 1.8% (7.8% of PA).  Caucasians comprise 92.6% of the county (75.7% of the state).  Approximately 59% of the African Americans in the county live inside the city of Johnstown

Overall the county is 2.6 years behind the US life expectancy.  Caucasians are 2.2 years behind, African Americans are 7.4 years behind, and Hispanics are 9.5 years ahead of the US rate.  Life expectancy is not included in the overall County Health Rankings for Health Outcomes.  Mortality Measured as Years of Potential Life Lost is factored into the rankings which is a measure related to life expectancy.

Years of potential life lost (YPLL) is the number of years lost if someone dies before age 75.  For example, if someone dies at age 25, they have 50 years for potential life lost.  The overall YPLL rate is 9,700 years per 100,000 for the county.  It is 19,900 years per 100,000 for African Americans and 9,400 years per 100,000 for Caucasians.  

The premature age adjusted death rate for the county is the number of deaths under age 75 per 100,000 for the years 2017-2019.  For Cambria it is 440 deaths/100,000.  For African Americans it is 840 deaths/100,000 and for Caucasians it is 430 deaths/100,000.  For Pennsylvania, the overall rate is 350 deaths/100,000.  This measure is provided by County Health Rankings but not factored into the rankings.

The most shocking mortality rate is the child mortality rate which is the number of deaths under the age of 18 per 100,000 for the years 2016-2019.  For Cambria the rate is 50 deaths/100,000 which is the same as PA's rate.  For African Americans in the county, it is 210 deaths/100,000 (the highest in PA) while for Caucasians it is 40 deaths/100,000.  The rate is more than 5 times higher for African Americans. 

The health factors data for the county provides some clues for this discrepancy.  I will discus it in my next post.

**Related Posts**

Why do African Americans live to be 64.8 years in Cambria County?

Friday, April 2, 2021

The 2021 County Health Rankings are Out


The 2021 County Health Rankings are now out for every county in the US.  The rankings use more than 60 government statistics to assess the overall health of each county.  Above is a video description of their model.  They have two overall rankings for the state: Health Outcomes (mortality and quality of life data) and Health Factors (things that contribute to the health outcomes).

The maps above show the rankings for each county in Pennsylvania.  The darker green counties have lower health outcomes rankings while the counties with darker color blue have lower health factors ranking in the map on the right.  Cambria County ranks 62nd in health outcomes (up 2 spots from last year which is not cause for celebration) and 47th on health factors which is down 3 spots since last year.

For me the overall rankings are not as interesting as the underlying statistics used to determine them.  Two individuals can have the exact some IQ score but one can have a high verbal aptitude while another can have an equally high math ability. The graph below shows the trend in mortality data (measured as years of potential life lost or YPLL).

In my book, I went in depth into the rankings to explain why last year's rankings were so low.  It was mostly racial disparities in life expectancy in the county.  In the next few posts I will go in depth into this years numbers.  Corona virus numbers are not yet factored into the rankings as 2019 is the most recent year for mortality data.  The graph above shows that Cambria's rate, though decreasing, is still higher than the state and U.S. rates. 

**Related Posts**

The graph above shows that Cambria's rate, though decreasing, is still higher than the state and U.S. rates. 

COVID-19 and County Health Rankings in PA: Which Variables Predict Cases and Deaths

Sunday, March 21, 2021

One Year of Corona Virus in Cambria County

March 23 will be the one year anniversary of the first case of coronavirus in Cambria County.  The graph above shows the trend in cases and vaccinations over the past year.  The graph below shows the trend in deaths.  The first death was reported on April 7.  The county now (as of this writing) has 12,059 cases, 402 deaths, and 19,664 full vaccinations.  As I update the numbers on Google sheets, the numbers on the graphs in this post will be updated.

I have been tracking the number of cases and deaths almost every day over the past year.  It has been a labor of love keeping track of the pandemic here.  The feedback has been mostly positive to this effort.  As more publicly available data has been released over the year, the effort has taken more and more of my time every day.  In addition to the daily posting of numbers, I have written 34 out of 47 posts on corona virus on this blog.  The more insights that I can provide for the public to guide decision making the better.

In This Together Cambria is putting together a slideshow showing the resilience of the area to the past years challenges.  Submissions are due by March 26.  One story I can add is the passing of Rosie Caeti, an old family friend who passed away last on March 13 from complications from Corona Virus at 87.  She used to babysit my dad when he was young.

Soon, the county health rankings for every county in the US will be released for 2021.  I do not yet know how or if coronavirus deaths will factor into the rankings.  

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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Our Webinar on the Corona Virus Numbers in Cambria County

Last Tuesday I was a panelist on a webinar explaining the coronavirus numbers in Cambria County.  Other panelists were Jill Henning, Biology Professor at Pitt-Johnstown and Tulsi Shrivastava, a local data scientist.  You can view the slides for the presentation below.  It lasts for 40 minutes.  As of that panel, the county ranked 7th in the state in cases per 100,000, 8th in case mortality (# of deaths/# of deaths), 10th in testing rate, 15th in hospitalizations, 4th in deaths/100,000, 4th in patients on a ventilator/100,000, and 8th in full vaccinations/100,000.


Since then the numbers have changed.  The county now ranks 8th in the state in cases/100,000 at 8,346.  It still ranks 8th in the state in cases mortality at 3.37%.  It now ranks 11th in the state in testing at 38.17%, 10th in the state in hospitalizations at 32.26/100,000, 5th in deaths at 281.12/100,000, 5th in patients on a ventilator at 5.38/100,000, and 11th in full vaccinations at 2,290/100,000.  Recent numbers have been encouraging but we can't let our guard down.

On of the sponsors on the webinar was the Tribune Democrat.  Chip Minemyer, their editor moderated the panel.  The post of the Tribune-Democrat's article received 13 likes and 10 haha's.  Here is a smattering of comments it received on Facebook. 

"it all depends on how the numbers are collected. I have come to the conclusion that it's best not to believe stats."  (liked by 3)

"More propaganda from this site. Terrible." Liked by 5, laughed at by 1, and wowed by 1.

"And if you want it changed to the actual cause do you have to go to court to get it changed?" liked by 1.

"I’ve not seen cycle threshold values reported anywhere. Are those available with local Covid tests?" Liked by none.

"Depends on who inputs the numbers." liked by 2.

"Lol the numbers are wrong, What makes them a expert at a new virus? These people are part of the problem! I know a few people who past with in the past few months and none of them had covid but they mark their death as covid..."  Liked by 5, laughed at by 4, wowed by one.

"like you can trust the" Laughed at by one.

"Numbers do lie when a person with an agenda is on the other end.
Like the crooks in Tom Wolfs administration." Liked by 3, laughed at by one.

 "Why does the The Tribune-Democrat print letters advocating the murder of 74 million people?"

 Laughed at by one.

"As a native of the area, I'm pleased that the Tribune Democrat is still a real newspaper. Bravo!" Liked by 6 laughed at by 3.

"Sounds great if the numbers were 100% accurate" liked by none

" Unless the the people responsible for entering data are compromised" Liked by 4.

Some people may think me sadistic for even looking at these comments  but it does give clues to the thinking of those who In This Together Needs to reach.  I'd love to know how many of them actually read the article.

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Friday, January 22, 2021

An Online discussion of Coronavirus Numbers in Cambria County

On Tuesday, January 19, In This Together: Cambria County had a beautiful candle light vigil on the river wall by the stone bridge in Johnstown.  There was one candle for each of the 340 people who died from the corona virus in Cambria County since the pandemic began as of that day.  There have been 14 deaths in the county since then as of this writing.

In This Together: Cambria was organized as a response to the skyrocketing case and death rate in the county.  They have partnered with The Tribune-Democrat, the 1889 Foundation, Conemaugh Health System, and others.  They have held online events to inform the public on COVID-19 and vaccines and a spiritual prayer service for the holidays.

The next online event that In This Together will be having will be this coming Tuesday, January 26 at 7PM.  It is titled COVID Questions: By the Numbers.  I will be presenting the data that I have collected from Johns-Hopkins online dashboard, from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and from other sources.  Chip Minemyer, editor of the Tribune Democrat, will be Dr. Jill Henning, PhD will present on the biology of the Coronavirus.  Tulsi Shrivastava will include will be stories of victims of the pandemic to show the human side of the pandemic in the county.  The event will be livestreamed on Zoom at and at the In This Together Facebook page.  You will be able to ask questions of the other panelists and I.  The taped event will be available on YouTube.  Up coming events will be:

Friday, December 25, 2020

Testing and New Cases Declined in Cambria County While The Positive Test Rate Remains High

The graph above shows how the rise in cases appears to be levelling off in Cambria County since Donald Trump came here on October 13. The 7 day average for new cases reached a high of 214.29 on Dec 11 and has steadily decreased to 96.57 on Dec 25 (a 54.7% decrease) as can be seen in the solid black line in the graph below.

Also in the graph above we see that the 7 day average number of test results presented per day in the county (dotted red line in the graph) also decreased from 335 per day on Dec 11 and also decreased to 182 per day on Dec 25, a decrease of 45.7% over the same period.  This is a 9% smaller rate of decrease than that of cases in the county.

This graph above shows how the cumulative positive testing rates for the county (dotted blue line), Pennsylvania (red line), and the U.S. (yellow line).  The 7 day average for positive tests peaked at 68.29% on Dec 8 to 53.14% on Dec 25.  This is only a 22.2% decrease which is smaller than the decrease in cases and testing.  

On December 13 I posted on how the % of test results (46.8% today) for Greater Johnstown (zip codes 15901 thru 15909) was higher than the % of positive cases there (41.1% today).  This suggests that the cumulative testing rate for Johnstown is 31.48% while it is 35.74% for the rest of the county, a 13.53% increase outside of Johnstown.  The cumulative positive testing rate is 16.71% for Greater Johnstown while for the rest of the county it is 21.15%, a 26.54% increase.

While it is encouraging to watch the number of new positive cases decrease in Cambria County, the smaller decrease in the positive cases suggests that there may be more cases that are being missed, especially outside of Greater Johnstown.  The 7 day average for deaths in the county peaked at 8.14 per day on December 17 and decreased to 5 per day this Christmas day.  The peak in deaths came 6 days after the peak in cases in the county.  Lets hope the trend continues.  The Governor's order against dine in restaurant eating and gym us appears to be curtailing the rise in cases.  I wish I had better news this Christmas night.


Dave Sutor of the Tribune Democrat has tweeted that Conemaugh Memorial hospital has rented refrigerator trailers to handle possible over crowding at the morgue.

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Sunday, December 13, 2020

Testing Rates are Higher in Johnstown but There Are More Cases of COVID-19 in the Rest of Cambria County

Yesterday WJAC TV reported that Cambria County had the highest rate of new cases in the nation.  Looking at the New York Times COVID-19 today, the county (which is listed a Johnstown because the county is the Johnstown metropolitan statistical area) ranks 6th today.  Last week I posted on the elevated mortality rate in the county since Trump came here.  This week I will look at the distribution of cases and testing in Cambria County.

On April 26th this is what the distribution of cases looked like for Cambria County at the zip code level.  You can see a lot of white zip codes where there are no cases.  I started tracking testing at the zip code level on May 12.  On that day, 56.3% of the testing in the county was in the greater Johnstown area which I define as the zip codes 15901 through 15909.  The cases were not tracked then because if the cases were between 1 and 4 in that zip code, the exact number of cases was redacted.

The second map is from July 1 where we can see clustering of cases around Johnstown in the southwest corner of the county and in Ebensburg which is in the center of the county.  On this date 55.4% of te testing was in the Greater Johnstown area.  The cases in many zip codes were still redacted at this time.

This image is from October 27th.  In this image I have the 15901 zip code highlighted which is downtown Johnstown.  There were 30 confirmed cases there and the number of probable cases was redacted because there were between 1 and 4 persons with this designation to protect individual privacy.  We can also see an increase in cases in the 15931 zip code where Ebensburg is located with 200 cases.  The increase in Ebensburg is at least partly due to an outbreak at the local county jail.  On this date, 47.8% of the testing was in the Greater Johnstown area while only 36.4% of the cases were there.  

The image above is from today ,December 13.  We can see that the 15901 zip code now has 172 conformed and 19 probable cases for a total of 191 cases.  The 15904, 15905, and 15931 zip codes are darker colored because they have more than 500 cases.  Today 46.7% of the total test results are in Greater Johnstown (and thus 53.3% of the testing is in the remainder of the county) while only 40.2% of the cases are (with 59.8% of the cases in the remainder of the county).  This indicates that the rise in testing in the remainder of the county lags behind the rise in cases there.  Greater Johnstown accounts for 50% of the county's population.  The table below shows the rates of testing and cases for each Johnstown zip code, Ebensburg and Cambria County.  There's no room for US and Pennsylvania data on this page but you can see it on google sheets at the Johnstown zip code testing tab








total Johnstown

15931 (Ebensburg)

Cambria County











Testing 12/13/2020










Testing rate 12/13/2020










cases 12/13/2020










Positive rate 12/13/2020










Cases per 100k 12/13/2020










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