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PA raises COVID-19 fatalities substantially; new cases follow weeks-long trend

The state Department of Health today substantially increased the number of COVID-19-related fatalities in PA, upping the total by 479 deaths.

In its daily update, the department stated that it increased the fatality count “as a result of our continued work to reconcile data from various sources.” These deaths occurred over the last two weeks, according to the department. As a result, 2,195 fatalities in PA have now been attributed to the pandemic.

For the past two weeks, the department has reported changeable fatality data, which department Secretary Rachel Levine has attributed to conflicting data, to variable county-level data reported to the state and to “probable” COVID-19 deaths.

This higher death total is reflected in today’s local county-specific figures, though most of the newly confirmed fatalities were in the Philadelphia area.

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

  • Adams County: 4 deaths (yesterday, 1)
  • Cumberland County: 15 deaths (yesterday, 10)
  • Dauphin County: 21 deaths (yesterday, 20)
  • Franklin County: 6 deaths (yesterday, 4)
  • Lancaster County: 103 deaths (yesterday, 78)
  • Lebanon County: 9 deaths (yesterday, 8)
  • Perry County: 1 death (yesterday, 1)
  • York County: 9 deaths (yesterday, 9)

In addition, the state health department today reported 1,102 new COVID-19 diagnoses, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 44,366 since the pandemic began in PA in early March.

The new positive cases fall in the range of 1,000 to 1,500 new daily cases reported on most days for nearly three weeks. Almost 21 percent of all tests performed in the state have turned out positive for the virus.

“As we see the number of new COVID-19 cases continuously change across the state that does not mean we can stop practicing social distancing,” Levine said.

Locally, total diagnosed cases are as follows:

  • Adams County: 130 cases (yesterday, 124)
  • Cumberland County: 324 cases (yesterday, 296)
  • Dauphin County: 558 cases (yesterday, 553)
  • Franklin County: 264 cases (yesterday, 237)
  • Lancaster County: 1,703 cases (yesterday, 1,678)
  • Lebanon County: 648 cases (yesterday, 635)
  • Perry County: 30 cases (yesterday, 27)
  • York County: 624 cases (yesterday, 614)

Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 11,885 cases, followed by Montgomery County with 4,177 cases. The two counties also have reported the most deaths statewide from the disease: 424 and 329, respectively.

Nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Out of total deaths, 1,428, or about 65 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 7,698 resident cases of COVID-19, and 975 cases among employees, for a total of 8,280 at 452 distinct facilities in 41 counties, according to the health department.

Statewide, 214,884 coronavirus tests have been performed, with 170,518 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Yesterday, the state reported that 209,088 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
  • 38 percent are aged 25-49
  • 27 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. 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 stay home to protect ourselves, our families and our community,” Levine said. “If you must go out, please make as few trips as possible and wear a mask to protect not only yourself, but others. We need all Pennsylvanians to continue to heed these efforts to protect our vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our health care workers and frontline responders.”

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

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