DelCo Covid and WSSD Masking

Pennyslvania continues to keep its Covid data website up to date with the latest numbers. The amendment made by Wendy Voet at the school board meeting earlier this week states,

If Delaware County (or the Wallingford Swarthmore School District catchment area, if that data becomes available) rises above the threshold of 50 or more cases per 100,000 over a 7-day period, as reflected in weekly reporting by the PA Department of Health, WSSD will institute universal indoor masking within all District buildings. This mandate would be lifted if we fall below this threshold and sustain reduced rates for a two-week period.

There were 73 cases per 100k residents in DelCo over the last 7 days. The previous week there were 47 per 100k over a 7 day period. That is a substantial jump. Case rates in Pennsylvania and DelCo show a clear surge, and are now at numbers we had last October that led into the (so far) largest surge around the holidays last year. Judging from the behavior I saw in Media yesterday and while traveling and the stories I’m hearing, it seems unlikely numbers will decrease in the next few weeks, so I think we can expect universal masking to be a plan for the start of school.

The most ominous anecdote I heard was from my Lenape teacher, who had Covid spread among the young children in the preschool class she teaches. She showed up for work this week and it had been closed due to the spread. This could be a preview of the coming school year unless precautions are taken. The delta variant is being spread and transmitted by the vaccinated and children. This is the first time in the pandemic that even fairly cautious people I know have gotten Covid. Please be safe out there.

Update – Just found a website that has visualizations of data by zip code in PA. In the last 7 days, 19086 had 6 positive cases and a 7.1% positivity rate. That gives 19086 alone a rate over 50 per 100k. 19081 (Swarthmore), had 3 cases and a 6% positivity rate, which puts it just under 50 per 100k. However, 19063 (north Nether, Media and nearby areas) had the second highest number of new cases in the county with 40 cases in the last week with a positivity rate of almost 20%. 19063 is more than just Media so its hard to know what its population really is to determine the rate per 100k.

Given the small number of cases in the WSSD area, I’m again, strongly against the district using district-level numbers to determine policy. They’re just too volatile. If one big family gets tested and all tests positive could swing the entire district’s numbers.

Categories: Government