Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

PA reports lowest daily number of new COVID-19 cases in six weeks

An image from the state Department of Health lab in Exton, Pa.

The commonwealth today reported the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in about six weeks, with just 543 new infections recorded.

This was the fewest number of newly positive cases since March 28, when 533 new cases were reported. At the time, cases were surging and, within a week, would hit nearly 2,000 new cases.

For the past month, new cases have ranged closer to 1,000 each day.

Historically, Monday case numbers have been the lowest of the week due to less reporting to the state Department of Health, Secretary Rachel Levine has said.

With the additional cases, 57,154 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Locally, total diagnosed cases are as follows:

  • Adams County: 167 cases (yesterday, 156)
  • Cumberland County: 451 cases (yesterday, 434)
  • Dauphin County: 830 cases (yesterday, 823)
  • Franklin County: 513 cases (yesterday, 493)
  • Lancaster County: 2,256 cases (yesterday, 2,223)
  • Lebanon County: 815 cases (yesterday, 811)
  • Perry County: 35 cases (yesterday, 35)
  • York County: 784 cases (yesterday, 773)

Overall, about 20 percent of PA residents tested have shown to be positive for the virus.

PA Gov. Tom Wolf today cited these lower case numbers to say that the commonwealth is making progress against the disease and should not reopen “prematurely.”

The health department today also reported an additional 24 COVID-19-related fatalities, meaning that 3,731 Pennsylvanians now have died from the disease. The majority of new fatalities—23—were residents of nursing homes.

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

  • Adams County: 5 deaths (yesterday, 5)
  • Cumberland County: 33 deaths (yesterday, 33)
  • Dauphin County: 36 deaths (yesterday, 36)
  • Franklin County: 12 deaths (yesterday, 12)
  • Lancaster County: 168 deaths (yesterday, 166)
  • Lebanon County: 16 deaths (yesterday, 16)
  • Perry County: 1 death (yesterday, 1)
  • York County: 13 deaths (yesterday, 13)

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 15,008 cases, followed by Montgomery County with 5,292 cases. The two counties also have reported the most deaths statewide from the disease: 857 and 525, respectively.

“As we prepare to move a number of counties from red to yellow, we need all Pennsylvanians to continue to follow the social distancing and mitigation efforts in place,” Levine said.

This coming week, 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, 2,552, or 68.4 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 11,801 resident cases of COVID-19, and 1,655 cases among employees, for a total of 13,456 at 540 distinct facilities in 44 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, 3,790 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 288,858 coronavirus tests have been performed, with 231,704 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Yesterday, the state reported that 284,383 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
  • 1 percent are aged 13-18
  • Nearly 6 percent are aged 19-24
  • Nearly 37 percent are aged 25-49
  • 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. There have been no pediatric deaths to date.

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.

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