TOWANDA — The spike in COVID-19 cases in Bradford County continued over the past two days.

The county added 44 new cases on Thursday and Friday, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Bradford County now has 397 confirmed cases, while 38 are considered probable by the Department of Health.

A report published Tuesday showed Bradford County had the third-highest percentage of new cases in the state, at 7.4%, based on data from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8.

Since Sept. 17, the county has added 289 cases of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the Department of Health announced Bradford County as one of seven counties included in an initial distribution of 250,000 antigen test kids due to its high rate of new cases.

“Antigen test cards are a timely, quick and easy-to-use tool for communities to receive rapid COVID-19 testing,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “These test kits, provided by the federal government and being distributed to areas in need by the Wolf Administration, will further help communities struggling with the spread of COVID-19. Antigen tests look for pieces of proteins that make up the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19, and are another tool in our testing toolkit to help quickly identify cases.”

These tests are being provided to Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified sites such as long-term care facilities; drug, alcohol, and behavioral health treatment centers; correctional facilities; health care providers; and higher education.

“With the increase in testing and cases, the department is continuing efforts to conduct case investigations and contact tracing,” Levine said. “However, for these efforts to be successful, it is important for Pennsylvanians to participate in the process. If you are contacted by a case investigator or contact tracer, it is essential that you answer the phone and participate in the interview.”

Pat McDonald can be reached at (570) 888-9643 ext. 228 or editor@morning-times.com. Follow Managing Editor Pat McDonald on Twitter @PatMcDonaldMT.

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