Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

New COVID-19 cases, fatalities rise sharply in PA, locally over past week

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

COVID-19 infection rates continued to surge over the past week in Pennsylvania, with the average new case count nearing 6,000 per day.

Since last Friday, the commonwealth recorded an average of 5,914 newly diagnosed cases per day, according to the state Department of Health.

This compares to an average of 4,348 new daily cases last week, and 2,633, 2,134, 1,641 and 1,397 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: 1,636 cases (prior Friday, 1,468)
  • Cumberland County: 4,017 cases (prior Friday, 3,299)
  • Dauphin County: 6,637 cases (prior Friday, 5,924)
  • Franklin County: 3,582 cases (prior Friday, 2,996)
  • Lancaster County: 13,564 cases (prior Friday, 11,712)
  • Lebanon County: 4,444 cases (prior Friday, 3,957)
  • Perry County: 553 cases (prior Friday, 473)
  • York County: 8,875 cases (prior Friday, 7,869)

Today, the department reported 6,808 newly positive cases throughout Pennsylvania for the past 24 hours ending at midnight.

With today’s update, 295,786 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus, an increase of 41,399 over the past week, according to the health department. Active cases total 99,818. Currently, 2,952 people are hospitalized in PA with coronavirus, compared to 2,196 last Friday.

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 53,494 total cases. Allegheny County ranks second with 22,527 cases, and Montgomery County is third statewide with 18,861 cases.

The health department also reported an additional 465 deaths since last Friday, meaning that 9,689 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since March. Fatalities totaled 249, 191, 159 and 168 over the prior four weeks, respectively.

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

  • Adams County: 45 deaths (prior Friday, 37)
  • Cumberland County: 102 deaths (prior Friday, 86)
  • Dauphin County: 211 deaths (prior Friday, 200)
  • Franklin County: 91 deaths (prior Friday, 72)
  • Lancaster County: 504 deaths (prior Friday, 495)
  • Lebanon County: 95 deaths (prior Friday, 83)
  • Perry County: 9 deaths (prior Friday, 8)
  • York County: 233 deaths (prior Friday, 221)

PA nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 6,179, or 63.8 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 31,148 resident cases of COVID-19, and 6,315 cases among employees, for a total of 37,463 at 1,197 distinct facilities in 63 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, about 13,886 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 2,944,656 individuals have had coronavirus tests, with 2,648,870 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Last Friday, the state reported that 2,778,371 people had been tested for the virus.

The state reports a total of 5,042,736 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
  • Nearly 6 percent are aged 13-18
  • Nearly 13 percent are aged 19-24
  • Nearly 37 percent are aged 25-49
  • About 21 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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