Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

New coronavirus cases bump up above 500 in PA, first time this week

COVID-19 cases and testing over time. Source: PA Department of Health

New COVID-19 cases bumped up in PA, with the state reporting over 500 new diagnoses.

The state Department of Health today reported 526 new positive cases for the 24-hour period ending at midnight.

This breaks a trend of five straight days near 400 cases, though the long-term trend of lower cases overall remains intact.

Cases peaked in early April at nearly 2,000 daily new cases. Since then, cases have shown a gradual decline, despite increasingly greater testing levels for the virus.

With the additional cases, 80,762 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Locally, total diagnosed cases are as follows:

  • Adams County: 309 cases (yesterday, 304)
  • Cumberland County: 768 cases (yesterday, 758)
  • Dauphin County: 1,725 cases (yesterday, 1,708)
  • Franklin County: 872 cases (yesterday, 855)
  • Lancaster County: 3,911 cases (yesterday, 3,867)
  • Lebanon County: 1,226 cases (yesterday, 1,210)
  • Perry County: 79 cases (yesterday, 77)
  • York County: 1,229 cases (yesterday, 1,209)

Overall, 12.6 percent of PA residents tested have shown to be positive for the virus.

The department also reported an additional 38 deaths, meaning that 6,399 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since March.

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

  • Adams County: 11 deaths (yesterday, 10)
  • Cumberland County: 61 deaths (yesterday, 61)
  • Dauphin County: 118 deaths (yesterday, 111)
  • Franklin County: 42 deaths (yesterday, 42)
  • Lancaster County: 344 deaths (yesterday, 336)
  • Lebanon County: 40 deaths (yesterday, 40)
  • Perry County: 5 deaths (yesterday, 5)
  • York County: 35 deaths (yesterday, 34)

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 20,404 cases, followed by Montgomery County with 8,046 cases. The two counties also have reported the most deaths statewide from the disease: 1,550 and 780, respectively.

“With more than half of the state now in the green phase of the process to reopen, it is essential that we continue to take precautions to protect against COVID-19,” health Secretary Rachel Levine said. “The commonwealth’s careful, measured approach to reopening is working as we see case counts continue to decline even as many other states see increases. But the virus has not gone away.”

Nearly all of the Harrisburg area is now in the “green” phase of reopening, which means fewer restrictions on businesses and gatherings. Locally, Lancaster and Lebanon counties are the only counties that remain in the more restrictive “yellow” phase.

Nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 4,345, or 67.9 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 16,895 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,012 cases among employees, for a total of 19,907 at 651 distinct facilities in 47 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, about 6,141 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 637,218 coronavirus tests have been performed, with 556,456 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Yesterday, the state reported that 624,068 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
  • 1 percent are aged 5-12
  • 2 percent are aged 13-18
  • 6 percent are aged 19-24
  • Nearly 37 percent are aged 25-49
  • Nearly 25 percent are aged 50-64
  • Nearly 28 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.

“Each of us has a responsibility to protect ourselves, our loved ones and others by wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and washing our hands frequently,” Levine said. “Together, we can protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our essential workers and our healthcare system.”

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

Editor’s Note: With this article, we are ending our daily COVID-19 updates, which we began three months ago. Instead, we will report weekly, each Friday, or as breaking news warrants.

Continue Reading