COVID-19 Spread Jumps Again in Pennsylvania as Data Is Full of Troubling Signs

The test positivity rate climbed to 14.4%, up from 11.7% the week before, further adding to mounting evidence that Pennsylvania's coronavirus cases are soaring even as winter is weeks away.

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There are no good signs in new data on COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania.

The number of statewide cases week-over-week climbed by 5,000 while hospitalizations from coronavirus complications hit an all-time high, according to new statistics from health officials.

The positivity rate for COVID-19 tests conducted in Pennsylvania is above 14%, quadruple the number it dipped to in the summer months. Nine counties (Mifflin, Potter, Bedford, Montour, Juniata, Somerset, Tioga, Franklin, and Lawrence) have rates above 20%, meaning 1 in every 5 people tested are positive for coronavirus.

Average daily hospitalizations and patients on ventilators are up 1,000 and 100, respectively.

And 66 of 67 counties are in the "substantial level of community transmission" for the week ending Dec. 3.

Meanwhile, despite rising infections and hospitals "approaching" capacity, according to the state, Pennsylvanians are going to barbershops, salons, bars and gyms more.

"The latest update continues to show the effect COVID-19 is having in Pennsylvania,” Gov. Wolf said. “The mitigation steps in place are necessary to prevent our health system from being overrun. We are approaching that point, which is why we need all Pennsylvanians to follow these measures as part of their collective responsibility to protect one another and the health system.”

There were 48,668 new cases of COVID-19 for the week ending last Thursday, Dec. 3. That was 5,955 more new cases during that seven-day period compared to the previous week.

“This week’s data, and the continued strain COVID-19 is placing on the rate of hospitalizations and ventilator use, is a reminder to us all of our role in protecting our health care systems,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said Monday. “Models continue to indicate very concerning trends for our hospital availability and ICU bed availability, even as we see some counties with very little capacity left. We know COVID-19 does not discriminate and is affecting every county in the Commonwealth. It is affecting all Pennsylvanians, no matter your race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status or whether you live a rural, suburban or urban area.”

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