Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

New coronavirus cases dip in PA over the past week

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

New COVID-19 cases in PA dipped a bit over the past week, as the commonwealth averaged over 700 new cases per day.

Since last Friday, Pennsylvania recorded an average of 746 newly diagnosed cases per day, according to the Department of Health.

This compares to an average of 810 new daily cases last week, and 622 and 669 new daily cases per day for the prior two weeks, respectively. The department also reports that testing has generally increased over this time (see chart).

Locally, diagnosed cases over the past week are as follows:

  • Adams County: 723 cases (prior Friday, 697)
  • Cumberland County: 1,649 cases (prior Friday, 1,578)
  • Dauphin County: 3,543 cases (prior Friday, 3,410)
  • Franklin County: 1,633 cases (prior Friday, 1,559)
  • Lancaster County: 7,238 cases (prior Friday, 6,960)
  • Lebanon County: 1,807 cases (prior Friday, 1,748)
  • Perry County: 184 cases (prior Friday, 178)
  • York County: 3,995 cases (prior Friday, 3,667)

Today, the department confirmed 1,008 newly positive cases throughout Pennsylvania for the past 24 hours ending at midnight. This includes two recent hotspots in the commonwealth–Allegheny County, which reported an increase of 100 cases today, and Centre County, which reported an increase of 137 cases today.

With today’s update, 142,885 Pennsylvanians have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus, an increase of 5,223 over the past week, according to the state Department of Health.

The department also reported an additional 95 deaths since last Friday, meaning that 7,837 Pennsylvanians have died from the disease since March.

Around central PA, COVID-19 fatalities now stand as follows:

  • Adams County: 24 deaths (prior Friday, 23)
  • Cumberland County: 73 deaths (prior Friday, 72)
  • Dauphin County: 169 deaths (prior Friday, 165)
  • Franklin County: 49 deaths (prior Friday, 47)
  • Lancaster County: 445 deaths (prior Friday, 438)
  • Lebanon County: 57 deaths (prior Friday, 57)
  • Perry County: 6 deaths (prior Friday, 5)
  • York County: 132 deaths (prior Friday, 127)

Statewide, Philadelphia County continues to have the most confirmed cases with 30,206 cases, followed by Montgomery County with 11,537 cases. The two counties also have reported the most deaths statewide from the disease: 1,784 and 867, respectively.

“We know that congregation, especially over holidays and in college and university settings, yields increased case counts,” health Secretary Rachel Levine said. “The mitigation efforts in place now are essential to flattening the curve and saving lives.”

PA nursing homes and personal care facilities have been particularly hard hit by the virus. Of total deaths, 5,290, or 67.5 percent, have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, according to the health department.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 21,759 resident cases of COVID-19, and 4,727 cases among employees, for a total of 26,486 at 947 distinct facilities in 61 counties, according to the health department.

In addition, about 10,009 of total cases in PA are in health care workers.

Statewide, 1,794,913 individuals have had coronavirus tests, with 1,652,028 people testing negative, according to the state health department. Last Friday, the state reported that 1,758,488 people had been tested for the virus.

The state reports a total of 2,474,523 PCR tests, which includes many people, such as health care workers, who have been tested more than once.

Of the patients who have tested positive to date, the age breakdown is as follows, according to the health department:

  • About 1 percent are aged 0-4
  • Nearly 2 percent are aged 5-12
  • About 4 percent are aged 13-18
  • Nearly 11 percent are aged 19-24
  • Nearly 37 percent are aged 25-49
  • About 22 percent are aged 50-64
  • Nearly 23 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. However, the health department has emphasized that, increasingly, more younger people are being diagnosed with COVID-19.

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.

 “Wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and following the requirements set forth in the orders for bars and restaurants, gatherings, and telework will help keep our case counts low,” Levine said. “Together, as Pennsylvanians, all of our efforts are designed to support our communities to ensure that cases of COVID-19 remain low.”

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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