COVID-19 cases hit new peak

COVID-19 surge

Pennsylvania’s diagnosed COVID-19 cases hit a new daily peak over the weekend as the state grapples with a fall resurgence of the virus.

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine told reporters Monday that the 2,219 new cases reported Oct. 23 eclipses the pandemic’s first peak in April. Another 3,073 cases were added over the weekend, bringing the statewide total to 195,695 as of 12 a.m. Monday.

“Daily increases are now comparable with what we saw in April 2020,” Levine said.

The state’s daily data is available on the website, with archived data also available.

Despite this, Levine said evolving understanding and treatment of the virus means that hospitalizations haven’t yet neared the 3,000 or more patients admitted during the spring. 

READ: Cumberland County: First COVID-19 positive cat reported

Better medical care: ‘We’ve learned’

“Our medical care is much better now because we’ve learned so much about the virus,” she said; noting that only 10% of patients need ventilators today compared to 30% six months ago. “Patients are sick, but our medical care is much better.”

She warned residents to remain vigilant as flu season sets in, a familiar plea to prevent hospitals from becoming overrun. Department of Health data shows that of the residents who indicated visiting a business before testing positive, more than half went to a restaurant; 13% to a bar and 11% to a gym and 7.5% to a salon. More than a quarter indicated they’d visited “some other establishmen.”


Levine said that indicates community spread of the virus remains high.

As of Monday, 78% of the state’s 195,000 COVID-19 patients have recovered, Levine said. Nearly 8,700 residents have died so far and just over 1,100 remain hospitalized. 

Christen Smith

Christen Smith follows Pennsylvania’s General Assembly for The Center Square. She is an award-winning reporter with more than a decade of experience covering state and national policy issues for niche publications and local newsrooms alike.