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Franklin County’s COVID-19 death count dropped from the 10 deaths the state’s Department of Health reported Tuesday to just one today. That new figure reflects the first confirmed COVID-19 death Franklin County Coroner Jeff Conner reported Tuesday evening.

That is the same coronavirus-related death WellSpan Health reported on its website. The death occurred Tuesday at Chambersburg Hospital, according to the WellSpan report.

Conner said two more such deaths happened at the hospital Wednesday. Both of those individuals were Cumberland County residents and will be included in that county’s numbers, however.

As of 12 a.m. today, DOH’s reports a total of 151 positive cases in Franklin County and 2,367 negative tests. That’s eight new cases since yesterday’s numbers report by DOH Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.

In her press conference today, Levine said all the “probable” death numbers are being eliminated from the daily counts.

Franklin County Free Press questioned DOH officials yesterday about its record keeping procedures after Coroner Jeff Conner said he could confirm only one COVID-19-related death in the county. DOH has been counting deaths that were not confirmed, he said. In some cases those individuals had no symptoms related to the virus.

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Prior death count ‘could have been’ COVID-19 related

A DOH spokesperson said all 10 of the deaths listed for Franklin County “could have been” Coronavirus-related deaths, not confirmed.

She said DOH gets its information from many different sources, including nursing homes and death certificates signed by doctors who were treating the patient at time of death.

in fact, of Pennsylvania’s 1,472 reported COVID-19 deaths, 849were in nursing or personal care homes, according to DOH statics. That means about 57% of the total deaths happened in nursing home.

The DOH website lists those nursing home deaths by county. None of Franklin or Fulton Counties nursing homes have reported a positive case of the virus, or a death.

In Cumberland County, 86 patients and 11 employees in three nursing homes have tested positive. Six of the county’s 7 deaths were in nursing homes. Cumberland has seen 229 positive cases of the virus reported.

One nursing home in Adams County has seen 9 residents and 3 employees test positive for the virus, out of a reported 95 positive cases. Adams County’s lone COVID-19 death was a nursing home resident.

There have been 37,063 total Coronavirus cases since DOH started tracking pandemic numbers in early March., according to Levine. The state’s confirmed cases total 36,665 with 388 considered probable cases, she said.

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  1. I will be so glad when the state opens up again, I am so tired of people complaining about wanting to go back work, and don’t want to wear mask. They should have never closed the state… There wasn’t that many in Franklin county getting it, mostly was nursing homes.. Besides if we were open the whole time people wouldn’t be out of work. Of it would have gotten bad like New York,Washington, and other states then I could have seen it. Let people go back, the ones that want to stay home or wear their mask can still do it. Or if hospital run out of room they can always rent refrigerated trucks for body’s and mass graves like New York is doing .