UPPER DARBY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Since the end of June, Delaware County, Pennsylvania has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the commonwealth, according to new data.
The new numbers have startled some residents, but officials say it also indicates that some people have stopped following the safety protocols.
"I don't like the sound of that; it doesn't sound good at all," said Kevin Long of Upper Darby.
"It's hard to believe," said Andrew Arbutina of Springfield.
"It makes me nervous that we're going to shut down again, everything with the kids, with schools," said Secane resident Michelle Delrossi.
According to the data, Delaware County is averaging 13.3 cases per 100,000 population per day over the past week. That figure is even higher than Allegheny County which has seen an average of 12 new cases per 100,000 population.
"Look, we're all tired right now, tired of social distancing," said Delaware County Council Chairman Brian Zidek.
Zidek said after months of people following the virus protocols, some may be letting their guard down.
"If we don't act in a responsible manner, continue to act in a responsible manner and take this seriously through the rest of the summer, we're going to be in a worse place than we otherwise would be in the fall," said Zidek.
According to the Chester County Health Department, which is responsible for Delaware County: "the two biggest factors contributing to the increase in numbers in Delaware County are travel, particularly to beach areas, and socializing without masks," said Jeanne Casner, Director of the Chester County Health Department. "There have been no specific incidents/gatherings that can be attributed to the increase in numbers."
The data shows, the city of Chester, along with Middletown and Upper Darby townships lead the county in new infection rates.
Upper Darby Township officials are now urging its 83,000 residents to please be careful.
"We want everyone to be aware and concerned. Please wear your masks, wash your hands as much as you can," said Mayor Barbarann Keffer of Upper Darby.
Meanwhile, businesses, like Salon Vendi Amo in Secane, are nervous over these developments and doing everything they can to keep the virus from spreading.
"We're worried; we don't want to close again, because we were closed for three months which killed us and we don't want to do that again," said Nello Venvitti, co-owner of the salon.
Governor Tom Wolf has not ordered the county to shut down again. Officials said if everyone practices safety to bring those numbers down, they don't expect anything like that to happen.
Delaware County now leading Pennsylvania in COVID-19 cases, latest data shows
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