Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

New COVID-19 cases fall in PA, fatalities still high, says health department

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

New COVID-19 case rates have begun to decline in Pennsylvania, though the fatality rate remains high.

Since last Friday, the commonwealth recorded an average of 5,651 new cases per day, according to the state Department of Health. This is the lowest weekly new-case rate since mid-November.

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

  • Adams County: 6,085 cases
  • Cumberland County: 12,969 cases
  • Dauphin County: 16,903 cases
  • Franklin County: 10,933 cases
  • Lancaster County: 34,992 cases
  • Lebanon County: 11,065 cases
  • Perry County: 2,274 cases
  • York County: 29,360 cases

Today, the department reported 5,338 newly positive cases throughout Pennsylvania for the past 24 hours ending at midnight. The positivity rate statewide now stands at 12.7%, also a recent low.

With today’s update, 794,172 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus, an increase of 39,561 over the past week, according to the health department. Currently, 4,758 people are hospitalized in PA with coronavirus, and 851 are in intensive care.

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 99,915 total cases. Allegheny County ranks second with 66,002 cases, and Montgomery County is third statewide with 44,865 cases.

The health department today also reported an additional 1,364 deaths since last Friday, meaning that 20,321 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since last March.

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

  • Adams County: 128 deaths
  • Cumberland County: 392 deaths
  • Dauphin County: 406 deaths
  • Franklin County: 286 deaths
  • Lancaster County: 860 deaths
  • Lebanon County: 208 deaths
  • Perry County: 65 deaths
  • York County: 575 deaths

PA nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 10,212, or 50.25%, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there have been 60,899 resident cases of COVID-19, and 11,425 cases among employees, for a total of 72,324 at 1,528 distinct facilities in all 67 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, about 21,979 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 4,327,933 individuals have had coronavirus tests, with 3,533,761 people testing negative, according to the state health department.

The state reports a total of 8,688,757 PCR tests, which includes many people, such as health care workers, who have been tested more than once.

The department also reports that, as of Jan. 21, 585,691 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in PA.

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.

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