Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

New COVID-19 cases on the rise around PA, weekly update shows

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

New COVID-19 cases reached their highest weekly rate in several months this past week, increasing to a daily average of more than 1,100 new cases.

Since last Friday, the commonwealth recorded an average of 1,146 newly diagnosed cases per day, according to the state Department of Health.

This compares to an average of 1,011 new daily cases last week, and 788 and 828 new daily cases per day for the prior two weeks, respectively. The department also reports that testing has generally increased over this time (see chart).

The health department reported that much of the increase originated from outside of south-central PA. Locally, diagnosed cases over the past week are as follows:

  • Adams County: 916 cases (prior Friday, 864)
  • Cumberland County: 2,049 cases (prior Friday, 1,945)
  • Dauphin County: 4,093 cases (prior Friday, 3,897)
  • Franklin County: 1,875 cases (prior Friday, 1,807)
  • Lancaster County: 8,421 cases (prior Friday, 8,102)
  • Lebanon County: 2,265 cases (prior Friday, 2,112)
  • Perry County: 260 cases (prior Friday, 239)
  • York County: 5,333 cases (prior Friday, 5,008)

Recently, counties that host major college campuses have seen their case numbers rise.

“We know that congregation, especially in college and university settings, yields increased case counts,” health Secretary Rachel Levine said. “The mitigation efforts in place now are essential to flattening the curve and saving lives.”

Today, the department reported 1,380 newly positive cases throughout Pennsylvania for the past 24 hours ending at midnight.

With today’s update, 169,308 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus, an increase of 8,024 over the past week, according to the state Department of Health.

The department also reported an additional 129 deaths since last Friday, meaning that 8,308 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since March.

Around central PA, COVID-19 fatalities now stand as follows:

  • Adams County: 26 deaths (prior Friday, 26)
  • Cumberland County: 77 deaths (prior Friday, 77)
  • Dauphin County: 183 deaths (prior Friday, 182)
  • Franklin County: 52 deaths (prior Friday, 51)
  • Lancaster County: 462 deaths (prior Friday, 459)
  • Lebanon County: 63 deaths (prior Friday, 60)
  • Perry County: 6 deaths (prior Friday, 6)
  • York County: 176 deaths (prior Friday, 161)

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 33,784 cases. Allegheny County ranks second with 13,102 cases, and Montgomery County is third statewide with 12,703 cases.

PA nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 5,548, or 66.8 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 23,717 resident cases of COVID-19, and 5,252 cases among employees, for a total of 28,969 at 1,002 distinct facilities in 61 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, about 11,220 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 2,169,073 individuals have had coronavirus tests, with 1,999,765 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Last Friday, the state reported that 2,066,255 people had been tested for the virus.

The state reports a total of 3,276,114 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 2 percent are aged 5-12
  • Nearly 5 percent are aged 13-18
  • Nearly 14 percent are aged 19-24
  • Nearly 36 percent are aged 25-49
  • About 21 percent are aged 50-64
  • About 21 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, more younger people are being diagnosed with COVID-19.

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.
  • Wear a mask whenever out of your house.

 “Wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and following the requirements set forth in the orders for bars and restaurants, gatherings, and telework will help keep our case counts low,” Levine said. “Together, as Pennsylvanians, all of our efforts are designed to support our communities to ensure that cases of COVID-19 remain low.”

 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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