Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

PA again ups COVID-19 fatalities; new case data remains stable

PA Health Secretary Rachel Levine (right) at a recent press briefing

The commonwealth again increased the statewide fatality count from COVID-19, while newly diagnosed cases continued below 1,000.

The state Department of Health reported 275 more fatalities, meaning that 4,218 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease over the past two months.

The majority of new fatalities—191—were residents of nursing or personal care homes.

According to the department, 44 of the deaths occurred in the 24 hours ending at midnight, while 231 resulted from “the reconciliation of data over the past several weeks.” The department often has had to update fatality counts due to inconsistent reporting to the state and data conflicts.

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

  • Adams County: 5 deaths (yesterday, 5)
  • Cumberland County: 37 deaths (yesterday, 35)
  • Dauphin County: 40 deaths (yesterday, 39)
  • Franklin County: 15 deaths (yesterday, 13)
  • Lancaster County: 183 deaths (yesterday, 172)
  • Lebanon County: 19 deaths (yesterday, 19)
  • Perry County: 1 death (yesterday, 1)
  • York County: 15 deaths (yesterday, 14)

The department today also reported that 938 new cases of COVID-19 had been diagnosed as of midnight.

New cases in PA peaked in early April at nearly 2,000 cases, but have shown a gradual, relatively steady decline since. The state reported 707 new cases yesterday and 837 on Tuesday.

Of the new cases today, 269 are in residents of nursing and personal care homes.

With the additional cases, 59,636 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Locally, total diagnosed cases are as follows:

  • Adams County: 174 cases (yesterday, 169)
  • Cumberland County: 477 cases (yesterday, 463)
  • Dauphin County: 895 cases (yesterday, 871)
  • Franklin County: 563 cases (yesterday, 545)
  • Lancaster County: 2,364 cases (yesterday, 2,325)
  • Lebanon County: 856 cases (yesterday, 849)
  • Perry County: 36 cases (yesterday, 35)
  • York County: 817 cases (yesterday, 803)

Overall, 19.1 percent of PA residents tested have shown to be positive for the virus.

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 15,624 cases, followed by Montgomery County with 5,583 cases. The two counties also have reported the most deaths statewide from the disease: 1,000 and 587, respectively.

“As counties move from red to yellow, we need all Pennsylvanians to continue to follow the social distancing and mitigation efforts in place,” health department Secretary Rachel Levine said.

On Friday, the state plans to move 13 counties in the southwest portion of the state into the yellow phase, joining 24 counties in the northwest and north-central parts of PA that moved to yellow last week.

Nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Out of total deaths, 2,896, or 68.6 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 12,677 resident cases of COVID-19, and 1,922 cases among employees, for a total of 14,599 at 549 distinct facilities in 44 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, 4,217 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 311,195 coronavirus tests have been performed, with 251,559 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Yesterday, the state reported that 302,869 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
  • Nearly 6 percent are aged 19-24
  • Nearly 37 percent are aged 25-49
  • Nearly 26 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.

 “We must continue to protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, which includes our seniors, those with underlying health issues, our healthcare workers and our first responders,” Levine said. “I am proud of the work that Pennsylvanians have done so far, but we cannot stop now, we must continue to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from COVID-19.”

For more information, visit the PA Department of Health’s COVID-19 website.

Continue Reading