PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As the more contagious COVID Delta variant spreads, areas with low vaccination rates are seeing an uptick in cases - and that includes the Philadelphia region.
The Delaware and Lehigh Valleys are in much better shape than other areas of the country, but as long as there are pockets of people unvaccinated, the risk continues.
The tristate area seeing a concerning trend. COVID-19 numbers are still low, but the 6abc data journalism team is reporting that the positivity rate in Pennsylvania jumped 8% over the past two weeks. It's up 50% in New Jersey and 64% in Delaware. Philadelphia saw a 44% rise.
The number of hospitalizations and deaths in our region remains low, but those numbers typically lag behind an increase in positive tests.
Hospitalizations are up 20% in at least 12 other states. Arkansas, a state that has only 35% of people fully vaccinated, is seeing a third surge of infections and hospitals are filling up.
"So we're really trying to get creative," said Dr. Lisa O'Mahony.
Dr. O'Mahony is the medical advisor for Delaware County, Pennsylvania. She said they're re-focusing attention on smaller, but similar under vaccinated areas, such as the city of Chester.
"Just remember, any community that is unimmunized becomes a reservoir for virus and this is how it spreads and mutates," she said. "Getting immunized, the pandemic does not have to be part of our community."
She said getting more people vaccinated will be crucial as kids head back to school in the fall, especially younger kids who can't get vaccinated yet because having more people protected in the community will lead to less virus circulating.
Upcoming Vaccine Events:
Kids Kick COVID - Special Event with the Philadelphia Union!
Keystone First Wellness and Opportunity Center
1929 W. 9th Street
Thursday July 22 from 3pm to 7 pm
Saturday July 24 from 10 am to 2 pm
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic
City of Chester in Partnership with Community Churches
St. Luke C.C. Church
320 Tilghman Street
Chester, PA 19013
Saturday July 31 from 11 am to 2 pm
Saturday August 28 from 11 am to 2 pm
Delaware County Wellness Center
Keystone First Wellness Center
Chester Transportation Center
Chester 9th and Kerlin
The COVID-19 Call Center number is (484) 276-2100 or visit delcopa.gov/vax for dates and hours.
Delta variant spreading in areas with low COVID-19 vaccination rates