PA Department of Health: Big surge in COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 cases surge locally

There has been a big surge in COVID-19 cases across the state in recent weeks, with numbers setting a new record yesterday.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed the state’s highest daily increase of COVID-19 cases. DoH announced an additional 12,884 additional positive cases of COVID-19 for Friday, bringing the statewide total to 411,484.

This is the highest daily increase of COVID-19 cases since the state started tracking Coronavirus cases in March.

As of yesterday, 5,230 individuals were in hospitals, diagnosed with COVID-19. Of that number, 1,065 patients are in the intensive care units. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.

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In Franklin County, WellSpan Health reports it has 73 confirmed COVID-19 patients at Chambersburg Hospital and another four probable cases. Waynesboro Hospital has 21 confirmed COVID-19 patients. Those figures were as of 12 a.m. Saturday.

The trend in the 14-day moving average of number of hospitalized patients per day has increased by nearly 3,800 since the end of September, according to a DoH news release.

Statewide percent positivity for the week of November 27–December 3 stood at 14.4%, but Franklin County’s rate is just over 10%. highest daily increase

The big surge COVID-19 cases can be tracked on the DoH website, with archived data also available.

READ: Rite Aid Chambersburg: Free COVID-19 testing expandshos

COVID-19 totals

A total of 405,631 tests have been done in the last 7 days (between Nov. 27 and Dec. 3) with 59,817 of those testing positive. The department reports a total 70,469 test results reported as of 10 p.m., December 4.

As of 11:59 p.m. Friday, December 4, 149 new COVID-19-related deaths were reported. That brings the state’s total to 11,262 since the state started tracking. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

The Wolf administration now requires that masks be worn in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19, the DoH claims.

On Friday, 22,150 individuals tested positive to a viral antigen test. They are considered probable cases. Another 642 individuals tested positive to a serology test and had either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure. 

READ: PA DoH: Mask, travel mandates tightened

A total of 2,911,640 individuals have tested negative to date.

Positives and age breakdown

  • Approximately 1% are ages 0-4;
  • Nearly 3% are ages 5-12;
  • Approximately 5% are ages 13-18;
  • Approximately 12% are ages 19-24;
  • Nearly 37% are ages 25-49;
  • Nearly 22% are ages 50-64; and
  • Nearly 20% are ages 65 or older.

The department has seen significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds. DoH has sent a  alert to healthcare providers about the changing COVID-19 case demographics.

Increases among 19 to 24-year-olds from April through the end of November are available below:

  • SE – Nearly 5% of cases in April to nearly 11% of cases in November;
  • NE – 6% of cases in April to nearly 13% of cases in November;
  • NC – About 7% of cases in April to approximately 14% of cases in November;
  • SW – About 5% of cases in April to nearly 10% of cases in November;  
  • NW– Nearly 7% of cases in April to approximately 10% of cases in November; and
  • SC – About 7% of cases in April to approximately 8% of cases in November.  

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 38,852 resident cases of COVID-19, and 7,135 cases among employees, for a total of 45,987 at 1,327 distinct facilities in65 counties. Out of our total deaths, 6,931 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. Find a county breakdown here.

About 15,455 of the total cases are among health care workers.

READ: Pennsylvania vaccine plan in the works

Statewide – The Wolf Administration has – since noon, Dec. 4:

·         Aligned the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 quarantine guidance with the CDC.

·         Provided Pennsylvania State Police enforcement data.

Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play:

  • 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.
  • If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
  • Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. Find the free app in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.

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