New COVID-19 diagnoses rose slightly on a day-over-day basis, but still continued a trend of long-term decline.
The PA Department of Health today reported 612 new positive cases for the period ending at midnight.
This marks 23 days straight with new case numbers below 1,000 in Pennsylvania. With the additional cases, 72,894 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
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 (see chart).
Yesterday, the state reported jut 356 new cases, but data has tended to be lower following weekends due to less reporting to the state health department.
Of the new cases reported today, 115 are in residents of nursing and personal care homes.
Locally, total diagnosed cases are as follows:
- Adams County: 255 cases (yesterday, 250)
- Cumberland County: 644 cases (yesterday, 635)
- Dauphin County: 1,359 cases (yesterday, 1,303)
- Franklin County: 781 cases (yesterday, 777)
- Lancaster County: 3,218 cases (yesterday, 3,189)
- Lebanon County: 980 cases (yesterday, 972)
- Perry County: 62 cases (yesterday, 61)
- York County: 1,028 cases (yesterday, 1,013)
Overall, 15.4 percent of PA residents tested have shown to be positive for the virus.
The health department also reported another 100 fatalities, meaning that 5,667 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since March. Not all of these deaths necessarily occurred in the past 24 hours, as the health department constantly updates its data.
Of the newly reported fatalities, 40 were residents of nursing or personal care homes.
Around central PA, the COVID-19 fatality data now stands as follows:
- Adams County: 8 deaths (yesterday, 8)
- Cumberland County: 52 deaths (yesterday, 52)
- Dauphin County: 77 deaths (yesterday, 74)
- Franklin County: 36 deaths (yesterday, 35)
- Lancaster County: 306 deaths (yesterday, 297)
- Lebanon County: 33 deaths (yesterday, 33)
- Perry County: 3 deaths (yesterday, 3)
- York County: 26 deaths (yesterday, 26)
Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 18,703 cases, followed by Montgomery County with 7,172 cases. The two counties also have reported the most deaths statewide from the disease: 1,346 and 696, respectively.
“As Pennsylvania continues to move forward in the process to reopen, we need to remember that the threat from COVID-19 has not gone away,” health Secretary Rachel Levine said.
So far, the state has moved 57 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties into the less restrictive yellow phase, including all of the Harrisburg area except Lancaster County. By June 5, the remainder of the state will exit from the red phase.
Nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 3,597, or 63.4 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.
In nursing and personal care homes, there are 15,660 resident cases of COVID-19, and 2,696 cases among employees, for a total of 18,356 at 609 distinct facilities in 44 counties, according to the health department.
In addition, about 5,523 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.
Statewide, 472,255 coronavirus tests have been performed, with 399,361 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Yesterday, the state reported that 461,713 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
- 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.
“As counties move into the yellow and green phases, we must take personal responsibility to protect others,” Levine said. “Wearing a mask, continuing to maintain social distancing, and washing your hands frequently are all steps we can take to help protect others, including our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our essential workers and our healthcare system.”
For more information, visit the PA Department of Health’s COVID-19 website.