Early warning monitoring dashboard added to Pa.

The Department of Health launched an online early warning monitoring dashboard Tuesday that provides information statewide and county COVID-19 prevalence to track increases in disease in the community on a weekly basis.

“This dashboard provides the entire community with early warning to changes in COVID-19 infection so that we can take action to prevent spread,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Recent increases in COVID-19 cases in parts of the state have shown the need for Pennsylvanians to continue to take simple steps to prevent the spread of this virus. Wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, maintain social distancing and stay home if you are sick.”

The dashboard shows data points being used to assess the spread of the virus in the state and in each county, including:

  • Difference in confirmed cases (last 7 days vs. previous 7 days);
  • Incidence rate (last 7 days and previous 7 days) per 100,000 residents;
  • PCR positivity rate (last 7 days and previous 7 days);
  • Difference in the average daily number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last 7 days and the previous 7 days;
  • Difference in the average daily number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators in the last 7 days and previous 7 days; and
  • Percent of hospital emergency department visits in the last 7 days and previous 7 days due to COVID-like-illness (CLI).

The dashboard will be updated on a weekly basis to assist in providing information regarding the prevalence and severity of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania.

According to figures released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania added 832 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday. The state has 88,074 cases of the virus since the first case was discovered in March.

The death toll was increased by 25 souls on Thursdsay, putting the count at 6,712.

Dauphin County added 61 new cases and one death to their totals on Thursdsay , while Schuylkill County added three new cases and Northumberland County added two new cases. The current counts of cases in the three counties of the Citizen-Standard coverage area stands with Dauphin County at a total to 2,120 cases with 136 deaths, Schuylkill stands at 750 cases with 44 deaths, and Northumberland County is at 316 cases and six deaths.

In comparison, Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, added 138 cases and four deaths Thursday, putting their totals at 21,862 positive cases and 1,615 deaths since the coronavirus first hit in March..

With case numbers rising for a second time, state health officials say that mask wearing is needed to stem the rising numbers.

“Our latest data shows that the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing across the state,” Levine said. “The virus has not gone away. Each of us has a responsibility to continue to protect ourselves, our loved ones and others by wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and washing our hands frequently. Together we can protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our essential workers and our healthcare system.”

As the holiday weekend approaches, it is essential that all Pennsylvanians take steps to protect themselves and those around them. Residents are encouraged to avoid large gatherings and to remember that mask-wearing is required in public settings and when around other people to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

According to an order signed by Levine, mask wearing is required whenever anyone leaves home. Consistent mask wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

As far as negative tests for each county, Dauphin is listed as having 18,086 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 8,062 negative tests and 3,549 in Northumberland County.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 17,856 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,316 cases among employees, for a total of 21,172 at 702 distinct facilities in 53 counties. Out of our total deaths, 4,590 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. Approximately 6,706 of our total cases are in health care workers.

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

Adams-342 (13), Allegheny-3,103 (188), Armstrong-77 (6), Beaver-688 (79), Bedford-88 (4), Berks-4,563 (351), Blair-74 (1), Bradford-58 (3), Bucks-5,801 (565), Butler-319 (13), Cambria-85 (3), Cameron-3, Carbon-283 (26), Centre-211 (7), Chester-3,751 (328), Clarion-36 (2), Clearfield-75, Clinton-80 (4), Columbia-405 (34), Crawford-59, Cumberland-866 (64), Dauphin-2,120 (136), Delaware-7,253 (657), Elk-15, Erie-626 (12), Fayette-127 (4), Forest-7, Franklin-950 (44), Fulton-18 (1), Greene-41, Huntingdon-252 (4), Indiana-112 (6), Jefferson-24 (1), Juniata-113 (6), Lackawanna-1,714 (204), Lancaster-4,504 (365), Lawrence-107 (9), Lebanon-1,361 (43), Lehigh-4,280 (305), Luzerne-2,927 (177), Lycoming-193 (20), McKean-18 (1), Mercer-142 (6), Mifflin-63 (1), Monroe-1,428 (108), Montgomery-8,514 (806), Montour-75 (1), Northampton-3,441 (270), Northumberland-316 (6), Perry-86 (5), Philadelphia-21,862 (1,615), Pike-498 (20), Potter-16, Schuylkill-750 (44), Snyder-67 (2), Somerset-62 (1), Sullivan-6, Susquehanna-183 (24), Tioga-25 (2), Union-93 (2), Venango-23, Warren-7, Washington-244 (6), Wayne-140 (9), Westmoreland-711 (38), Wyoming-38 (7), York-1,555 (52).

As of midnight July 2, there have been 702,199 negative tests for the coronavirus. The state also said that 78 percent of the confirmed cases have recovered. If a case has not been reported as a death, and it is more than 30 days past the date of their first positive test (or onset of symptoms) then an individual is considered recovered.

With the new stay-at-home orders expiring, all counties in Pennsylvania, with the exception of Lebanon County, are now in the green phase of Gov. Wolf’s reopening plan. Lebanon will turn green on Friday.

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 July 2, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 2,679,230 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 128,024 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.