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New COVID-19 cases rise again in PA, as testing also increases

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

New COVID-19 cases continued a month-long climb in PA over the past week, though fatalities from the disease rose more modestly.

Since last Friday, the commonwealth recorded an average of 1,397 newly diagnosed cases per day, according to the state Department of Health.

This compares to an average of 1,146 new daily cases last week, and 1,011 and 788 new daily cases per day for the prior two weeks, respectively. The department also reports that testing has increased substantially over this time (see chart).

Locally, diagnosed cases over the past week are as follows:

  • Adams County: 971 cases (prior Friday, 916)
  • Cumberland County: 2,195 cases (prior Friday, 2,049)
  • Dauphin County: 4,340 cases (prior Friday, 4,093)
  • Franklin County: 1,975 cases (prior Friday, 1,875)
  • Lancaster County: 8,812 cases (prior Friday, 8,421)
  • Lebanon County: 2,495 cases (prior Friday, 2,265)
  • Perry County: 300 cases (prior Friday, 260)
  • York County: 5,708 cases (prior Friday, 5,333)

Today, the department reported 1,566 newly positive cases throughout Pennsylvania for the past 24 hours ending at midnight.

With today’s update, 179,086 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus, an increase of 9,778 over the past week, according to the health department.

Recently, counties that host major college campuses have seen their case numbers rise. This week, department also reported substantial increases in Philadelphia, Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

The health department also reported an additional 149 deaths since last Friday, meaning that 8,457 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since March. Fatalities totaled 129 and 98 over the prior two weeks, respectively.

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

  • Adams County: 27 deaths (prior Friday, 26)
  • Cumberland County: 78 deaths (prior Friday, 77)
  • Dauphin County: 185 deaths (prior Friday, 183)
  • Franklin County: 53 deaths (prior Friday, 52)
  • Lancaster County: 467 deaths (prior Friday, 462)
  • Lebanon County: 65 deaths (prior Friday, 63)
  • Perry County: 6 deaths (prior Friday, 6)
  • York County: 187 deaths (prior Friday, 176)

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 35,138 cases. Allegheny County ranks second with 13,821 cases, and Montgomery County is third statewide with 13,050 cases.

PA nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 5,603, or 66.2 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 24,334 resident cases of COVID-19, and 5,342 cases among employees, for a total of 29,676 at 1,015 distinct facilities in 61 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, about 11,559 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 2,282,130 individuals have had coronavirus tests, with 2,103,044 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Last Friday, the state reported that 2,169,073 people had been tested for the virus.

The state reports a total of 3,517,687 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, 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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