Death toll rise as counties head into yellow phase of recovery

As 24 counties moved into the yellow phase Friday and 15 more counties will be added next week, the counts continue to rise in deaths and new cases.

On Friday, Northumberland County was put into the yellow phase of the recovery while the Stay-at-Home orders for Dauphin and Schuylkill Counties were extended again, this time to Thursday, June 4.

On Friday, Wolf announced that 15 counties in the western part of the state will be able to move into the yellow phase of reopening. Those counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.

As a result of the Pa. Department of Health’s continued work to reconcile data from various sources, the state reported an increase of 200 new deaths Friday, bringing the statewide total to 3,616 deaths in Pennsylvania related to the COVID-19. These deaths have occurred over the past several weeks.

Pennsylvania added 1,323 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday. According to information released on Pa. Department of Health’s website, there are currently 54,238 confirmed cases.

Dauphin County reported 29 new positive cases and four deaths, while eight new positive tests and three deaths were added in Schuylkill County and six new cases was added in Northumberland County. This brings Dauphin’s total to 764 cases with 37 deaths, Schuylkill up to 430 cases with 13 deaths, and Northumberland County at 118 confirmed cases.

In comparison, Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, added 378 cases in 24 hours, putting their totals at 14,006 positive cases and 833 deaths, adding 135 more deaths..

In nursing home and long-term care facilities, the numbers of the local counties went up as Dauphin County added seven residents, four employees, and two deaths, while Schuylkill County added a new facility, resident and a death in its total. Dauphin County is listed in the table having three facilities affected, with 157 cases among residents, 35 cases among employees and 24 deaths. Schuylkill County has 38 residents, 11 employees affected and two deaths in nine facilities.

All total, 522 facilities are reporting 10,919 cases among residents and 1,542 among employees, and have accounted for 2,458 of Pennsylvania’s 3,416 deaths attributed to the coronavirus.

Governor Tom Wolf was joined by Attorney General Josh Shapiro Thursday to announce that he signed an executive order that protects Pennsylvanians from foreclosures or evictions through July 10. The action builds on a Pennsylvania Supreme Court order which closed court eviction proceedings until May 11 and ensures no renter or homeowner will be removed from their home for 60 more days.

“At a time when people need to stay home to protect their heath, they should not have to worry about losing their homes,” said Governor Wolf. “Ensuring that people can remain in their homes will help them to better protect their loved ones. It gives families the comfort of knowing they will have a place to live while all of us work together to fight COVID-19 and prepare to move Pennsylvania forward.”

“I commend the Governor for his decision to delay eviction and foreclosure proceedings. We know it’s critical for public health, and for our economic recovery, that people stay in their homes during this emergency,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “This order gives people struggling with lost income something they can count on — a roof over their heads.”

In almost all circumstances, renters and homeowners are required to continue making monthly payments. If you are a Pennsylvanian struggling to make your monthly payments, you should contact your landlord or mortgage servicer immediately.

Officials say that the public’s effort on social distancing and wearing masks must continue to get things back to normal.

“As we prepare to move a number of counties from red to yellow, we need all Pennsylvanians to continue to follow the social distancing and mitigation efforts in place,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We must continue to protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, which includes our seniors, those with underlying health issues, our healthcare workers and our first responders. I am proud of the work that Pennsylvanians have done so far, but we cannot stop now, we must continue to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from COVID-19.”

As far as negative tests for each county, Dauphin is listed as having 4,550 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 2.479 negative tests and 777 in Northumberland County.

The state also updated numbers of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 2,702 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications, up 274 patients from the day before

The breakdown is as follows:

Positive cases

Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, <1%; 13-18, 1%; 19-24, 6%; 25-49, 37%; 50-64, 26%, 65+, 28%


Ages 0-29, 2%; 30-49, 5%; 50-64, 10%; 65-79, 20%; 80+, 19%

The counties affected and the number of confirmed cases, with the number of deaths in parentheses, are:

Adams-154 (5), Allegheny-1,455 (119), Armstrong-55 (3), Beaver-479 (78), Bedford-28 (1),  Berks-3,190 (168), Blair-28, Bradford-37 (2), Bucks-3,750 (331), Butler-192 (6), Cambria-40 (1), Cameron-2 Carbon-192 (16), Centre-117 (1), Chester-1,728 (176), Clarion-23 (1), Clearfield-24, Clinton-37, Columbia-307 (20), Crawford-20, Cumberland-414 (31), Dauphin-764 (37), Delaware-4,680 (382), Elk-5 (1), Erie-113 (2), Fayette-84 (4), Forest-7, Franklin-452 (11), Fulton-7 (1), Greene-27 (1), Huntingdon-117, Indiana-75 (5), Jefferson-7, Juniata-93 (1), Lackawanna-1,114 (113), Lancaster-2,122 (165), Lawrence-69 (7), Lebanon-797 (16), Lehigh-3,140 (114), Luzerne-2,347 (120), Lycoming-109 (4), McKean-6 (1), Mercer-70 (2), Mifflin-50, Monroe-1,198 (63), Montgomery-5,037 (515), Montour-50, Northampton-2,390 (153), Northumberland-118, Perry-34 (1), Philadelphia-14,384 (833), Pike-422 (21), Potter-4, Schuylkill-430 (13), Snyder-33 (1), Somerset-32 (1), Sullivan-1, Susquehanna-86 (13), Tioga-16 (1), Union-40 (1), Venango-7, Warren-1, Washington-121 (4), Wayne-113 (5), Westmoreland-413 (30), Wyoming-28 (2), York-753 (13).

As of noon May 8, there have been 216,231 negative tests for the coronavirus, an increase of 6,538 over the day before.

What is coronavirus?

According to the Pa. Department of Health, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common throughout the world. These viruses can live in animals and at times, evolve and infect people before spreading through human to human contact.

Human coronaviruses are spread just like the common cold or the flu — either through the air through coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact like touching or shaking hands, or by touching an object or surface with the virus on it.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms can appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after a person is exposed to the illness. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to severe illness and death. As of May 7, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 1,219,066 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 73,297 deaths.

What can you do?

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 for a life-sustaining reason, please wear a mask.
The Pa. Department of Health offers these guidelines as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

Stay home as much as possible. Try to get groceries once per week instead of daily. Freedom of travel remains, but please refrain from non-essential travel. Essential travel includes things like commuting to an essential job, picking up supplies like groceries and medicine, and checking on family and pets in other households. Do not host or attend gatherings.