Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Total COVID-19 cases pass 70,000 in PA, though new case data remains subdued

An image from the PA Department of Health lab in Exton

Total COVID-19 diagnoses in PA exceeded 70,000 today, though the number of new daily cases continued a long-term decline.

The state Department of Health today reported 625 new positive cases for the period ending at midnight.

This marks 18 days straight with new case numbers below 1,000 in Pennsylvania. With the additional cases, 70,042 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Cases peaked in early April at nearly 2,000 daily new cases. Since then, cases have shown a gradual, relatively steady decline, despite increasingly greater testing levels for the virus.

Of the new cases today, 168 are in residents of nursing and personal care homes.

Locally, total diagnosed cases are as follows:

  • Adams County: 240 cases (yesterday, 236)
  • Cumberland County: 618 cases (yesterday, 611)
  • Dauphin County: 1,212 cases (yesterday, 1,174)
  • Franklin County: 759 cases (yesterday, 756)
  • Lancaster County: 3,056 cases (yesterday, 3,031)
  • Lebanon County: 944 cases (yesterday, 936)
  • Perry County: 54 cases (yesterday, 53)
  • York County: 970 cases (yesterday, 956)

Overall, 16.4 percent of PA residents tested have shown to be positive for the virus.

The health department also reported another 108 fatalities, meaning that 5,373 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since March.

Of the newly reported fatalities, 32 were residents of nursing or personal care homes.

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

  • Adams County: 7 deaths (yesterday, 7)
  • Cumberland County: 47 deaths (yesterday, 46)
  • Dauphin County: 71 deaths (yesterday, 66)
  • Franklin County: 31 deaths (yesterday, 30)
  • Lancaster County: 286 deaths (yesterday, 282)
  • Lebanon County: 33 deaths (yesterday, 31)
  • Perry County: 2 deaths (yesterday, 1)
  • York County: 25 deaths (yesterday, 22)

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 17,839 cases, followed by Montgomery County with 6,738 cases. The two counties also have reported the most deaths statewide from the disease: 1,262 and 644, respectively.

“As Pennsylvania continues to move forward in the process to reopen, we need to remember that the threat from COVID-19 has not gone away,” health Secretary Rachel Levine said.

So far, the state has moved 49 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties into the less restrictive yellow phase. On Friday, eight more counties are slated to enter the yellow phase, including Dauphin and Lebanon counties. By June 5, the entire state will exit from the red phase to either yellow or green, according to current plans.

Nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 3,501, or 65.1 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 15,158 resident cases of COVID-19, and 2,563 cases among employees, for a total of 17,721 at 600 distinct facilities in 44 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, 5,279 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 427,846 coronavirus tests have been performed, with 357,804 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Yesterday, the state reported that 419,407 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
  • 25 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.

“As counties move into the yellow and green phases, we must take personal responsibility to protect others,” Levine said. “Wearing a mask, continuing to maintain social distancing, and washing your hands frequently are all steps we can take to help protect others, including our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our essential workers and our healthcare system.” 

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

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