Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Latest PA data shows flattening case curve, elevated mortality from pandemic

An image from the state Department of Health lab in Exton, Pa.

The COVID-19 pandemic in PA ended the week much as it started, with a flattening number of new cases, but a relatively high fatality rate.

The state Department of Health today reported 866 newly positive cases for the period ending at midnight. This marks 12 days straight with new case numbers below 1,000 in Pennsylvania.

With the additional cases, 66,258 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

New daily cases in PA peaked in early April at nearly 2,000 cases, but have shown a gradual, relatively steady decline since, despite greater levels of testing for the virus over that time period.

In fact, today’s report shows one of the highest levels of testing yet, with 10,095 new tests recorded.

Of the new cases today, 178 are in residents of nursing and personal care homes.

Locally, total diagnosed cases are as follows:

  • Adams County: 214 cases (yesterday, 204)
  • Cumberland County: 572 cases (yesterday, 565)
  • Dauphin County: 1,049 cases (yesterday, 1,034)
  • Franklin County: 697 cases (yesterday, 677)
  • Lancaster County: 2,736 cases (yesterday, 2,690)
  • Lebanon County: 892 cases (yesterday, 887)
  • Perry County: 43 cases (yesterday, 43)
  • York County: 895 cases (yesterday, 883)

Overall, 17.4 percent of PA residents tested have shown to be positive for the virus.

The health department also reported another 115 fatalities, meaning that 4,984 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since March. Of the newly reported fatalities, 41 were residents of nursing or personal care homes.

Around central PA, the COVID-19 fatality data now stands as follows:

  • Adams County: 5 deaths (yesterday, 5)
  • Cumberland County: 43 deaths (yesterday, 43)
  • Dauphin County: 57 deaths (yesterday, 52)
  • Franklin County: 28 deaths (yesterday, 28)
  • Lancaster County: 272 deaths (yesterday, 269)
  • Lebanon County: 24 deaths (yesterday, 24)
  • Perry County: 1 death (yesterday, 1)
  • York County: 22 deaths (yesterday, 21)

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 17,057 cases, followed by Montgomery County with 6,366 cases. The two counties also have reported the most deaths statewide from the disease: 1,196 and 619, respectively.

“As counties move from red to yellow, we need all Pennsylvanians to continue to follow the social distancing and mitigation efforts in place,” health Secretary Rachel Levine said.

So far, the state has moved 49 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties into the less restrictive yellow phase. Today, several area counties, including Cumberland, York, Perry and Adams counties, entered the yellow phase.

Nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 3,275, or 65.7 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 14,291 resident cases of COVID-19, and 2,377 cases among employees, for a total of 16,668 at 578 distinct facilities in 44 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, 4,969 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 379,001 coronavirus tests have been performed, with 312,743 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Yesterday, the state reported that 368,906 people had been tested for the virus.

Of the patients who have tested positive to date, the age breakdown is as follows, according to the health department:

  • Nearly 1 percent are aged 0-4
  • Nearly 1 percent are aged 5-12
  • Nearly 2 percent are aged 13-18
  • Nearly 6 percent are aged 19-24
  • Nearly 37 percent are aged 25-49
  • Nearly 26 percent are aged 50-64
  • Nearly 29 percent are aged 65 or older.

Most of the patients hospitalized are 65 or older, as are most of the reported deaths, according to the state.

Levine continued to emphasize that Pennsylvanians should do the following:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.

 “We must continue to protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, which includes our seniors, those with underlying health issues, our healthcare workers and our first responders,” Levine said. “I am proud of the work that Pennsylvanians have done so far, but we cannot stop now, we must continue to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from COVID-19.”

For more information, visit the PA Department of Health’s COVID-19 website.

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