As statewide percent-positivity rates dropped to 4.6% last week, Fayette County’s rate saw a spike.

According to the state’s monitoring system, the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in Fayette County was 7.1% from July 24-30.

That marked an increase from the 5.4% positivity rate in the county July 17-23, and put Fayette fourth on a list of 12 counties with higher positivity rates than the state average.

On Monday, the state Department of Health announced that several Walmart locations – including stores in Uniontown and West Brownsville – would begin providing free drive-thru testing starting on Wednesday.

“We appreciate the hard work done by health systems, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), medical clinics and other entities that are providing testing for COVID-19 across Pennsylvania,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “When we established our testing strategy, we wanted testing to be accessible, available and adaptable and we are working to meet that challenge. Anyone who believes they are in need of a COVID-19 test and meet testing criteria can get tested today in Pennsylvania.”

The testing sites will be open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is required one day in advance through the Quest Diagnostics patient portal at www.questdiagnostics.com.

Once a test is done, the recipient must return home and self-isolate while awaiting results.

“As the pandemic continues, it is imperative that we shift testing sites to communities with increasing demand. If the need for testing in additional communities arises, we will re-evaluate our site locations,” Levine said.

Last week, Fayette officials temporarily closed county offices to the public, citing positive cases among county employees. Offices will be deep cleaned before reopening on Aug. 13.

Other counties with higher percent-positivity rates than Fayette were Lawrence (7.4%), Franklin (7.2%) and Indiana (7.2%). Allegheny County (6.4%) and Beaver County (5.6%) were also on the list.

“Going out without a mask and congregating at a bar or in a crowded backyard party where social distancing isn’t being practiced continues to lead to spikes in cases. We need to recommit to these simple measures to stop the spread and go back to more freedoms,” Gov. Tom Wolf said.

State officials have recommended those who travel outside of Pennsylvania to 19 states quarantine for 14 days after returning, citing higher rates of virus spread in those areas. On Friday, Wyoming was removed from the list. The remaining states include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Local DOH data updates reported between Sunday and Monday include:

COVID-19 cases

Fayette County: 414 cases (+6) 8,953 negative tests; four deaths (no change)

Greene County: 109 cases (+1); 2,868 negative tests; one death (no change)

Washington County: 764 cases (+8); 15,385 negative tests; 11 deaths (no change)

Westmoreland County: 1,457 cases (+19); 29,751 negative tests; 46 deaths (no change)

Allegheny County: 8,310 cases (+68); 112,762 negative tests; 234 deaths (no change)

Pennsylvania: 114,155 cases (+565); 1,142,414 negative tests; 7,209 deaths (no change)

Long-term care living facilities

Fayette County: six facilities; nine cases in residents; 10 in employees; one death

Greene County: one facility; two cases in residents; one in employees; no deaths

Washington County: nine facilities; 26 cases in residents; eight in employees; two deaths

Westmoreland County: 21 facilities; 188 cases in residents; 50 in employees; 31 deaths

Allegheny County: 82 facilities; 908 cases in residents; 281 in employees; 176 deaths

Pennsylvania: 856 facilities; 19,628 cases in residents; 3,991 in employees; 4,914 deaths

For additional information, visit health.pa.gov.

To report violations related to mask-wearing or the July 15 targeted mitigation order, contact state or local police.

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