Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

New COVID-19 cases accelerate again in PA, reach new weekly high

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

COVID-19 infection rates continued to surge over the past week in PA, with the average new case count now nearing 8,000 per day.

Since last Friday, the commonwealth recorded an average of 7,855 newly diagnosed cases per day, according to the state Department of Health.

This compares to an average of 6,429 new daily cases last week and 5,914, 4,348, 2,633 and 2,134 new cases per day for the prior four weeks, respectively. This week’s totals are the highest new-case counts in PA since the pandemic began in March.

The department also reports that testing has increased substantially over this time (see chart).

Locally, diagnosed cases are now as follows since the pandemic began:

  • Adams County: 2,292 cases (prior Friday, 1,908)
  • Cumberland County: 5,973 cases (prior Friday, 4,831)
  • Dauphin County: 8,618 cases (prior Friday, 7,481)
  • Franklin County: 5,232 cases (prior Friday, 4,262)
  • Lancaster County: 18,478 cases (prior Friday, 15,890)
  • Lebanon County: 5,891 cases (prior Friday, 5,105)
  • Perry County: 778 cases (prior Friday, 649)
  • York County: 12,777 cases (prior Friday, 10,604)

Today, the department reported 11,763 newly positive cases throughout Pennsylvania for the past 24 hours ending at midnight. The positivity rate statewide now stands at 11.7%.

With today’s update, 398,600 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus, an increase of 54,986 over the past week, according to the health department. Active cases number 163,446. Currently, 5,071 people are hospitalized in PA with coronavirus, compared to 4,087 last Friday, and 1,065 are in intensive care.

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 66,215 total cases. Allegheny County ranks second with 31,454 cases, and Montgomery County is third statewide with 23,916 cases.

The health department also reported an additional 879 deaths since last Friday, meaning that 11,113 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since March. Fatalities totaled 595, 465, 249 and 191 over the prior four weeks, respectively.

Around central PA, COVID-19 fatalities now stand as follows since the pandemic began:

  • Adams County: 49 deaths (prior Friday, 46)
  • Cumberland County: 161 deaths (prior Friday, 130)
  • Dauphin County: 224 deaths (prior Friday, 214)
  • Franklin County: 128 deaths (prior Friday, 104)
  • Lancaster County: 545 deaths (prior Friday, 513)
  • Lebanon County: 119 deaths (prior Friday, 106)
  • Perry County: 14 deaths (prior Friday, 9)
  • York County: 260 deaths (prior Friday, 241)

PA nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 6,900, or 62.1 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there have been 37,946 resident cases of COVID-19, and 7,124 cases among employees, for a total of 45,070 at 1,316 distinct facilities in 65 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, about 15,269 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 3,291,921 individuals have had coronavirus tests, with 2,893,321 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Last Friday, the state reported that 3,129,689 people had been tested for the virus.

The state reports a total of 5,782,706 PCR tests, which includes many people, such as health care workers, who have been tested more than once.

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

  • About 1 percent are aged 0-4
  • Nearly 3 percent are aged 5-12
  • About 5 percent are aged 13-18
  • About 12 percent are aged 19-24
  • Nearly 37 percent are aged 25-49
  • Nearly 22 percent are aged 50-64
  • Nearly 20 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. However, the health department has emphasized that, increasingly, younger people are being diagnosed with COVID-19.

The health department 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.
  • Wear a mask whenever out of your house.

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

Currently, we are providing a COVID-19 update weekly, each Friday, or as breaking news warrants.

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