Deaths spike in Pennsylvania as reporting efforts continue

Pennsylvania added 360 deaths to its count on Tuesday as updated numbers came in on the cause of death lately.

The new number put Pennsylvania’s death toll at 1,564. The increase is due to electronic and probable-cause deaths are now being reported, brining the uptick on the death.

“We have been working to reconcile our data with information from several different sources, including our NEDSS reporting system and our county and municipal health departments,” Dr. Rachel Levine said. “This is the cause of the increase in deaths we are reporting today. This work takes time and so the increase in deaths today reflects the culmination of that effort, which will continue moving forward. The majority of these deaths did not occur overnight.”

According to information released on Pa. Department of Health’s website, there are currently 34,528 confirmed cases, a increase of 1,296 cases in 24 hours.

Dauphin County reported 14 new positive cases on Monday, while 10 new positive tests were added in Schuylkill and four in Northumberland County, bringing Dauphin’s total to 400 cases with 11 deaths, Schuylkill up to 277 cases with seven deaths, and Northumberland County at 77 confirmed cases.

Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, reported 353 new cases and 101 deaths, putting their totals at 9,391 positive cases and 363 deaths..

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

“As we start to see the number of new COVID-19 cases continually change across the state that does not mean we can stop practicing social distancing,” Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We must continue to stay home to protect ourselves, our families and our community. If you must go out, please make as few trips as possible and wear a mask to protect not only yourself, but others. We need all Pennsylvanians to continue to heed these efforts to protect our vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our health care workers and frontline responders.”

As far as negative tests for each county, Dauphin is listed as having 2,448 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 1,501 negative tests and 288 in Northumberland County.

In nursing home and long-term care facilities, Dauphin County is listed in the table having three facilities, 56 cases among residents (two up from yesterday), nine cases among employees and three deaths. Schuylkill County has two positive cases in two nursing homes, one resident and one employee. All total, 5,026  cases are reported among residents and 572 among employees, and have accounted for 796 of Pennsylvania’s 1,564 deaths attributed to the coronavirus.

The state also updated numbers of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 2,665 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications, down 37 people 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, 39%; 50-64, 28%, 65+, 25%


Ages 0-29, 2%; 30-49, 5%; 50-64, 9%; 65-79, 19%; 80+, 20%

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

Adams-91 (2), Allegheny-1,059 (67), Armstrong-38 (2), Beaver-303 (43), Bedford-16 (1),  Berks-1,988 (82), Blair-14, Bradford-31 (5), Bucks-1,917 (116), Butler-162 (6), Cambria-20 (2), Cameron-1 Carbon-150 (11), Centre-77 (2), Chester-919 (65), Clarion-18 (1), Clearfield-11, Clinton-11, Columbia-225 (8), Crawford-17, Cumberland-194 (6), Dauphin-400 (11), Delaware-2,654 (118), Elk-2, Erie-60, Fayette-69 (3), Forest-7, Franklin-143 (10), Fulton-2, Greene-25, Huntingdon-13, Indiana-55 (4), Jefferson-3, Juniata-72, Lackawanna-666 (53), Lancaster-1,295 (88), Lawrence-60 (6), Lebanon-525 (8), Lehigh-2,295 (49), Luzerne-1,800 (50), Lycoming-42 (2), McKean-5, Mercer-59 (1), Mifflin-21, Monroe-995 (46), Montgomery-3,154 (223), Montour-47, Northampton-1,544 (43), Northumberland-77, Perry-20 (1), Philadelphia-9,391 (363), Pike-314 (12), Potter-4, Schuylkill-277 (7), Snyder-30 (1), Somerset-19, Sullivan-1, Susquehanna-71 (4), Tioga-15 (2), Union-29, Venango-6, Warren-2 (1), Washington-86 (2), Wayne-86 (3), Westmoreland-291(20), Wyoming-17 (1), York-517 (13).

As of noon April 20, there have been 132,323 negative tests for the coronavirus, an increase of 2,603 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 April 20, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 746,625 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 39,083 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 need to go out and will be around other people, 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.