Pennsylvania reached a single-day high for new coronavirus cases Wednesday as hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 complications also are trending upward.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced 4,711 additional COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to more than 243,000 since the start of the pandemic.
“This is the highest daily increase of cases,” the health department said in a news release.
The virus has been surging through the Keystone State and much of the country in recent weeks as temperatures cool and people gather more indoors. Just on Tuesday, the U.S. hit a new high for coronavirus hospitalizations.
Nearly 2,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Pennsylvania as of Wednesday, with more than 400 people in intensive care. The state said most of the people hospitalized are over the age of 65 and most of the deaths related to the virus have occurred in older people. In early October, the moving average of hospitalizations was under 500, according to state data.
On Wednesday, Pennsylvania announced 59 new deaths being attributed to coronavirus. At least 9,145 people have died from the virus since the start of the pandemic. Just two months ago, Pennsylvania was reporting daily deaths -- a lagging indicator -- in the low double-digits.
Over the past week, nearly 24,000 cases have been reported from the nearly 355,000 COVID-19 tests administered in Pennsylvania. That means about 6.7% of people tested over that time period had COVID-19.
Young people are also testing positive for the virus at a greater rate. In the southeast part of the state about 11% of the cases in November are among 19- to 24-year-olds, that’s compared to just 5% of cases back in April during the initial surge of the virus that led to statewide lockdowns.
The state continues to push for social distancing, proper hand washing and mask wearing to slow the spread of the virus.
“Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home,” the health department said. “Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.”