The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported as of 12 a.m. on September 18th that there were 760 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 148,683.
The department also reported 21 new deaths, bringing the statewide total to 7,934 deaths.
According to the department, the number of tests administered within the last 7 days between September 11 and September 17 is 172,682 with 6,046 positive cases. There were 26,068 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m., September 17. These results represent the total number of tests administered.
Yesterday, Sept. 17th, the department reported 933 new positive cases of COVID-19 and 10 new deaths.
“We know that congregation, especially in college and university settings, yields increased case counts. The mitigation efforts in place now are essential to flattening the curve and saving lives,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and following the requirements set forth in the orders for bars and restaurants, gatherings, and telework will help keep our case counts low. Together, as Pennsylvanians, all of our efforts are designed to support our communities to ensure that cases of COVID-19 remain low.”
Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Beginning August 29, the department began publishing COVID-19 case counts using the updated standardized case definition for COVID-19 from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. This revised case definition updates criteria for case identification and case classification based on the continued evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. It updates probable case classifications and adds suspect case classifications. The definition for confirmed cases using a positive PCR test has not changed. Viral antigen tests, which identify people who are likely currently infected, will now be considered a probable case, even if the individual has no symptoms or exposure history. Persons with a positive antibody (serology) test, moving forward, will no longer be considered a probable case. However, cases previously counted as probable cases, using the prior national case definition, will remain counted as probable cases.
There are 257 cases who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 645 patients who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure. There are 1,732,805 patients who have tested negative to date.
The department reports that most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.
The department is seeing significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds. An alert was sent to healthcare providers about the changing COVID-19 case demographics, as there are more cases in younger age groups than in those 50-64 and 65+.
In nursing and personal care homes, there are 22,162 resident cases of COVID-19, and 4,839 cases among employees, for a total of 27,001. Out of Pennsylvania’s total deaths, 5,343 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here. To date, 10,281 of Pennsylvania’s total cases are in health care workers.
All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts.