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COVID-19 continues to rear its ugly head in Franklin County, with deaths hitting an even dozen this week. Exactly half were nursing home patients. That’s below the state average of 69% of deaths happening at the commonwealth’s nursing homes and long term care facilities.

The number of confirmed cases here keeps rising, however, compared to a leveling or drop in some areas. That is true if the state’s facts are anywhere near correct, something that has been problematic in the past.

The death numbers for the county come from Coroner Jeff Conner. They have been the most accurate and up-to-date numbers so far.

WellSpan Health also tracks its own numbers at the organization’s local facilities, including the county’s two hospitals.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, 425 Franklin County residents have tested positive for the virus since DDoH started tracking those numbers March 6.

WellSpan reports 299 positive cases, but those results don’t include test results from private labs in the county. That means if the state’s figures are right, another 126 positives came from those private labs.

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Currently 20 positive cases of COVID-19 and eight suspected cases are being treated at Chambersburg Hospital. One positive and three suspected cases are being treated at Waynesboro Hospital.

Chambersburg Hospital reports 16 COVID-19 deaths as of Thursday morning. Five of the people who died in the county were actually Cumberland County residents, Conner said. Those deaths are counted in that county’s tally of 31 deaths.

Subtracting the five Cumberland County deaths from WellSpan’s 16 reconciles the hospital’s tally with Conner’s numbers. Conner has praised WellSpan for its cooperation in helping him keep an accurate record of COVID-19 deaths here.

Although the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases tops those of Cumberland County (426-403), the death rate is much lower here, according to DOH.

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