County Ends June with 12 New COVID Cases, Daily Average Highest Since Red Phase
Updated: Jul 2, 2020
HARRISBURG (JUN 30 2020) - According to data releases this morning by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Monroe County added 12 new COVID-19 infections yesterday, bringing the county to total to 1,421 cases.
Yesterday was the largest one day increase since May 21, when the county added 13 new cases. No new deaths were reported, leaving he county toll at 108.
The 12 additional cases was the second double-digit increase in the past 7 days. The county added ten cases on Saturday. The seven-day total of 42 cases puts the rolling daily case average at 6, the highest since before the county was permitted to leave the red phase of reopening. The county added 102 cases in the month of June, with 65 of those coming in the last two weeks of the month. The monthly totals were significantly less than the 192 cases added in May, or the 891 cases in April.
The state cases continue to grow as well. The department today announced 618 additional positive cases statewide, for a total of 86,606. Today makes twelve days in a row that the state has added at least 450 cases. In addition, 35 new COVID-related deaths were announced, putting the state total at 6,649.
In order to move from the red to the yellow phase of reopening, the county was required to meet the first "gating criteria" of 85 or fewer new cases over a 14-day period. For the last two weeks, the Monroe County's new 65 new cases is below that figure. However, if the last seven day increase of 42 cases is duplicated or exceeded over the next seven days, that would be seen as a warning sign that the county may be facing a resurgence of significant community spread.
Concerned about the increases across the state, the Department of Health today launched an online early warning monitoring dashboard that provides information on statewide and county COVID-19 prevalence to track increases in the disease in the community on a weekly basis.
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. Currently, the dashboard contains comparative information for the two weeks ending June 28. The "current" period reflected in the dashboard is June 22-28, while the "previous seven days" are June 15-21.
The dashboard for Monroe County shows it is trending in the wrong direction in six of the monitored categories - New Cases, Cases per 100,000, Positive Test Rates, Average Daily Hospitalizations, and COVID-related ER visits. The only category without a negative trend is the number of COVID ventilator patients, which remains at zero for both weeks. With the county opening to the green phase, and increase in the incidence rate was to be expected. The dashboard was created so that counties may monitor progress and take appropriate actions. Allegheny County, concerned about spikes in cases, imposed a walk back on bar and restaurants effective today. Dine-in food service is permitted to continue, with the COVID mitigation requirements in place, but no in-house service of alcohol is permitted. Take out alcohol sales may still continue. The state department of health, and public health officials around the country, as well as the world, say one of the most effective measures for preventing resurgence of the COVID virus in the community is universal masking. “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.” All businesses are required to enforce mandatory wearing of masks by customers and employees. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has created a COVID-19 complaint form for non-complying businesses. The form prompts the complainant for their contact information, the business' information, and the specific complaint. There is a list of possible public health complaints including social distancing not being practiced, employees coming to work sick, and employers not providing or allowing cloth masks. This form can be submitted by anyone.