A spike in Pennsylvania’s death toll on Wednesday should not be a cause for alarm, according to state health officials.
In numbers released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the state announced that 479 deaths were added to the toll, bringing it up to 2,195 deaths.
Health officials said that those relate new deaths in the last two weeks not in the last 24 hours. An alarming fact is that 1,428 of those deaths are involving patients or residents in either nursing or personal care facilities.
Pennsylvania added 1,102 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday. According to information released on Pa. Department of Health’s website, there are currently 44,366 confirmed cases, and 2,195 deaths.
Schuylkill County reported 13 new positive cases on Tuesday, while five new positive tests were added in Dauphin County, bringing Dauphin’s total to 558 cases with 21 deaths, Schuylkill up to 343 cases with five deaths, and Northumberland County remaining at 92 confirmed cases.
In comparison, Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, added 281 cases in 24 hours and 148 deaths in the last two weeks, putting their totals at 11,885 positive cases and 424 deaths.
Officials say that the public’s effort on social distancing and wearing masks must continue to get things back to normal as the state looms on a May 8 date to possibly begin repopening parts of the state through the Governor’s three-tiered plan.
“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,” 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 3,418 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 1,912 negative tests and 518 in Northumberland County.
In nursing home and long-term care facilities, Dauphin County is listed in the table having four facilities affected, with 90 cases among residents (up two from yesterday), 14 cases among employees and 13 deaths. Schuylkill County has two positive cases in two nursing homes, one resident and one employee, and Northumberland County has four residents and two employees at one facility All total, 461 facilities are reporting 7,698 cases among residents and 975 among employees, and have accounted for 1,428 of Pennsylvania’s 2,195 deaths attributed to the coronavirus.
The state also updated numbers of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 2,781 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications, up two from yesterday.
The breakdown is as follows:
Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, <1%; 13-18, 1%; 19-24, 6%; 25-49, 38%; 50-64, 27%, 65+, 26%
Ages 0-29, 2%; 30-49, 5%; 50-64, 10%; 65-79, 20%; 80+, 20%
The counties affected and the number of confirmed cases, with the number of deaths in parentheses, are:
Adams-130 (4), Allegheny-1,273 (86), Armstrong-50 (2), Beaver-392 (65), Bedford-24 (1), Berks-2,637 (116), Blair-23, Bradford-29 (2), Bucks-2,733 (185), Butler-175 (6), Cambria-25 (1), Cameron-1 Carbon-170 (14), Centre-95 (1), Chester-1,304 (101), Clarion-23 (1), Clearfield-14, Clinton-30, Columbia-283 (14), Crawford-19, Cumberland-324 (15), Dauphin-558 (21), Delaware-3,619 (224), Elk-3, Erie-87 (2), Fayette-80 (4), Forest-7, Franklin-264 (6), Fulton-5, Greene-26, Huntingdon-29, Indiana-63 (4), Jefferson-4, Juniata-82 (1), Lackawanna-873 (81), Lancaster-1,703 (103), Lawrence-64 (6), Lebanon-648 (9), Lehigh-2,719 (72), Luzerne-2,111 (82), Lycoming-61, McKean-6, Mercer-65 (1), Mifflin-36, Monroe-1,111 (54), Montgomery-4,177 (329), Montour-47, Northampton-2,008 (85), Northumberland-92, Perry-30 (1), Philadelphia-11,885 (424), Pike-369 (14), Potter-4, Schuylkill-343 (5), Snyder-33 (1), Somerset-26, Sullivan-1, Susquehanna-81 (8), Tioga-14 (1), Union-33, Venango-7, Warren-1 (0), Washington-113 (2), Wayne-95 (5), Westmoreland-386 (25), Wyoming-19 (2), York-624 (9).
As of noon April 28, there have been 170,517 negative tests for the coronavirus, an increase of 4,693 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 28, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 981,246 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 55,258 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.