Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

New COVID-19 cases, deaths hit multi-month lows in PA

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

New coronavirus cases notched another multi-month low today, and newly reported fatalities also fell substantially.

The state Department of Health today reported 336 new COVID-19 diagnoses. This represents the fewest newly reported cases for any 24-hour period since late March.

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, 78,798 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Notably, data tends to be lower on weekends due to less reporting to the state health department.

Locally, total diagnosed cases are as follows:

  • Adams County: 290 cases (yesterday, 289)
  • Cumberland County: 728 cases (yesterday, 725)
  • Dauphin County: 1,634 cases (yesterday, 1,606)
  • Franklin County: 842 cases (yesterday, 843)
  • Lancaster County: 3,752 cases (yesterday, 3,719)
  • Lebanon County: 1,182 cases (yesterday, 1,162)
  • Perry County: 72 cases (yesterday, 71)
  • York County: 1,162 cases (yesterday, 1,157)

Overall, 13.5 percent of PA residents tested have shown to be positive for the virus.

The department also reported an additional four deaths, meaning that 6,215 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since March.

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

  • Adams County: 9 deaths (yesterday, 9)
  • Cumberland County: 59 deaths (yesterday, 59)
  • Dauphin County: 107 deaths (yesterday, 107)
  • Franklin County: 42 deaths (yesterday, 42)
  • Lancaster County: 329 deaths (yesterday, 329)
  • Lebanon County: 40 deaths (yesterday, 39)
  • Perry County: 5 deaths (yesterday, 5)
  • York County: 31 deaths (yesterday, 31)

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 19,933 cases, followed by Montgomery County with 7,898 cases. The two counties also have reported the most deaths statewide from the disease: 1,505 and 763, 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.”

Much of the Harrisburg area is now in the “green” phase of reopening, which means fewer restrictions on businesses and gatherings. Dauphin and Perry counties are slated to enter the green phase on Friday.

Nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 4,268, or 68.7 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 16,578 resident cases of COVID-19, and 2,929 cases among employees, for a total of 19,507 at 638 distinct facilities in 45 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, about 5,982 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 583,233 coronavirus tests have been performed, with 504,435 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Yesterday, the state reported that 575,051 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
  • 6 percent are aged 19-24
  • Nearly 37 percent are aged 25-49
  • Nearly 25 percent are aged 50-64
  • 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.

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