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New COVID-19 cases continue a gradual decline in Pennsylvania

An image from the PA Department of Health lab in Exton

Newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases dipped again in PA, as the state reported one of the lowest daily case totals in six weeks.

The state Department of Health reported 623 new COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania for the period ending at midnight. This marks a week with new case numbers below 1,000, the first time that has happened since March.

With the additional cases, 62,234 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

New 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.

Case numbers on weekends have tended to be lower due to less reporting to the health department, according to Secretary Rachel Levine.

Of the new cases today, 190 are in residents of nursing and personal care homes.

Locally, total diagnosed cases are as follows:

  • Adams County: 189 cases (yesterday, 185)
  • Cumberland County: 522 cases (yesterday, 515)
  • Dauphin County: 963 cases (yesterday, 938)
  • Franklin County: 621 cases (yesterday, 601)
  • Lancaster County: 2,508 cases (yesterday, 2,470)
  • Lebanon County: 874 cases (yesterday, 873)
  • Perry County: 40 cases (yesterday, 40)
  • York County: 851 cases (yesterday, 835)

Overall, 18.7 percent of PA residents tested have shown to be positive for the virus.

The health department also reported another 15 fatalities, meaning that 4,418 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease over the past two months.

The majority of new fatalities—14—were residents of nursing or personal care homes.

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

  • Adams County: 6 deaths (yesterday, 6)
  • Cumberland County: 48 deaths (yesterday, 48)
  • Dauphin County: 39 deaths (yesterday, 39)
  • Franklin County: 13 deaths (yesterday, 13)
  • Lancaster County: 187 deaths (yesterday, 186)
  • Lebanon County: 19 deaths (yesterday, 19)
  • Perry County: 1 death (yesterday, 1)
  • York County: 16 deaths (yesterday, 16)

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 16,140 cases, followed by Montgomery County with 5,872 cases. The two counties also have reported the most deaths statewide from the disease: 1,022 and 620, respectively.

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

So far, the state has moved 37 counties in the southwest portion of the state into the yew phase. On Friday, 13 more counties, including Cumberland, York, Perry and Adams counties, will enter the yellow phase.

Nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Out of total deaths, 3,057, or 69.2 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 13,447 resident cases of COVID-19, and 2,091 cases among employees, for a total of 15,447 at 558 distinct facilities in 45 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, 4,451 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 332,904 coronavirus tests have been performed, with 270,670 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Yesterday, the state reported that 327,836 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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