Delaware County's positive covid-19 cases persist despite decreases in other counties

MEDIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- With Philadelphia significantly flattening the curve and noticing a drop in positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, Delaware County's numbers are stubbornly staying the same.

Data pulled by Action News found that on May 6, Philadelphia's 14-day total of new cases per 100,000 residents was 421, compared to Delaware County's total of 285.

Within two weeks, Philadelphia County totals dropped significantly to 247 cases per 100,000 residents while Delaware County had 263 new cases.

"We are the second-most densely populated in the state, we also have an aging population, we have a higher number of long term care facilities," said Delaware County Vice Chair Dr. Monica Taylor. "We also have a high level of poverty in the county."

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Action News found that Delaware County also has the highest mortality rate compared to any county in the five-county region. Dr. Taylor points to the county's lack of health department.

"Other counties that have a health department understand where those health disparities lie in their county and can more actively target those areas when you have a pandemic like this," said Taylor.

Delaware County's lower-income communities are also contributing to the high number of positive cases.

"It's shown that socioeconomic status definitely has an impact on incidents, you know related to perhaps whether people have the luxury of being able to work from home or do they have to work in a job for economic reasons that put them more at risk," said Jeffrey Morris, Professor of the Division of Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania's Perlman School of Medicine.

Taylor said the county has increased the number of COVID-19 tests given and is seeing a lower positivity rate.


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