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New COVID-19 cases rise over past week in PA, especially around Philly, Pittsburgh

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

New COVID-19 cases in PA were up again this past week, with the state reporting an average of more than 700 new daily diagnoses over the last seven days.

With today’s update, the state Department of Health reported an average of 733 new cases per day since last Friday. The previous week, the department reported an average of 624 new cases per day and 515 the week before.

For the past 24 hours, the department confirmed 1,009 new positive cases throughout Pennsylvania.

Today’s data represents the first time in over a month that new daily cases have exceeded 1,000, though, according to the department, much of the increase originates from Allegheny County, from Philadelphia County and from “an influx of private lab results” that did not occur in the past 24 hours.

Cases peaked in early April at nearly 2,000 daily new cases. While new diagnoses have increased recently, so have testing rates.

With the additional cases, 93,876 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus, an increase of 5,135 over the past week.

New case data around central PA was generally more restrained than in the eastern and western parts of the state. Locally, total diagnosed cases are as follows:

  • Adams County: 377 cases (prior Friday, 344)
  • Cumberland County: 930 cases (prior Friday, 871)
  • Dauphin County: 2,268 cases (prior Friday, 2,161)
  • Franklin County: 993 cases (prior Friday, 954)
  • Lancaster County: 4,783 cases (prior Friday, 4,530)
  • Lebanon County: 1,419 cases (prior Friday, 1,375)
  • Perry County: 90 cases (prior Friday, 86)
  • York County: 1,791 cases (prior Friday, 1,577)

Overall, 10.4 percent of PA residents tested have shown to be positive for the virus.

The department also reported an additional 134 deaths since last Friday, meaning that 6,880 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since March.

Around central PA, the COVID-19 fatality data now stands as follows:

  • Adams County: 14 deaths (prior Friday, 13)
  • Cumberland County: 66 deaths (prior Friday, 64)
  • Dauphin County: 149 deaths (prior Friday, 140)
  • Franklin County: 46 deaths (prior Friday, 44)
  • Lancaster County: 382 deaths (prior Friday, 365)
  • Lebanon County: 48 deaths (prior Friday, 43)
  • Perry County: 5 deaths (prior Friday, 5)
  • York County: 61 deaths (prior Friday, 54)

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 22,735 cases, followed by Montgomery County with 8,790 cases. The two counties also have reported the most deaths statewide from the disease: 1,635 and 826, respectively.

“As the entire state is now in the green phase, we must remain committed to protecting against COVID-19 by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and avoiding large gatherings,” health Secretary Rachel Levine said.

Nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 4,699, or 68.3 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 18,164 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,428 cases among employees, for a total of 21,592 at 737 distinct facilities in 55 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, about 7,032 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 898,640 coronavirus tests have been performed, with 804,764 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Last Friday, the state reported that 804,144 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
  • 1 percent are aged 5-12
  • Nearly 3 percent are aged 13-18
  • Nearly 8 percent are aged 19-24
  • 37 percent are aged 25-49
  • Nearly 24 percent are aged 50-64
  • 26 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.
  • Wear a mask whenever out of your house.

“Pennsylvania has been a model for the country on how to reopen effectively using a careful, measured approach,” Levine said. “However, the virus has not gone away, and we are seeing cases rise, especially in southwest Pennsylvania.” 

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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