Despite Adding 27 Cases Yesterday, State Says Monroe County 'Not a Concern'
HARRISBURG - Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced that Monroe County had added a week's worth of cases in a single day.
Nate Wardel, spokesperson for the DOH, confirmed to The Boro* that the 27 new cases added to the county total included 22 residents of long-term care facilities in the county. "We do know a significant increase in Monroe County was 22 long-term care facility residents. This played a part of the increase, certainly," Wardle said in an email to The Boro*.
The commonwealth has been engaged in a program to test 100% of the residents and staff of all of the long-term care facilities in the state. As of last week, 349 of the state's 563 nursing homes had completed testing, with the remainder scheduled to complete their testing by this Friday.
Despite the sudden jump, Wardle also said that the county is not on the department's radar as it monitors the general increase of community spread in Pennsylvania. "At this time, Monroe County is not an area where the state is seeing data that is of particular concern," Wardle said in his email to The Boro*'s editor this morning. "We are indeed starting to see renewed community spread throughout of the state. That is why it is essential that mitigation efforts are taken, and enforced. We need people to wear masks, as ordered in the July 1 legal order, to social distance, wash hands and take precautions to protect themselves and others from this deadly virus."
County Adds a More Typical Four New Cases Today
In today's report of new cases, Monroe County added four cases and one additional COVID-related death, giving the county totals of 1,534 total cases, and 120 deaths. Statewide, the commonwealth added 631 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 103,396. Pennsylvania has added 6,094 new cases in the last seven days.
With 25 additional deaths announced today, the state's total COVID deaths is at 7,063. Today’s report does not include information from Philadelphia, as that data was not received by the department. Philadelphia has been reporting between about 125 and 180 new cases a day recently.
“As the state has put in place new mitigation efforts to offset recent case increases, we must renew our commitment to protecting against COVID-19 by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and following the requirements set forth in the orders for bars and restaurants, gatherings and telework,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvania has been a model for the country on how to reopen effectively using a careful, measured approach. However, we know the virus has not gone away as we see cases rise, so we must work together to stop another surge.”
Former Pennsylvania Governors Urge Residents to Wear Masks
Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Over the last week, three former commonwealth governors have made public statements in support of Governor Tom Wolf's COVID mitigation efforts and particularly endorsed the state's universal masking order. “As a former Governor of Pennsylvania, I know all too well the importance of swift action to keep Pennsylvanians safe during a crisis,” former Gov. Mark Schweiker said. “Governor Wolf has worked throughout this pandemic to both safeguard our citizens and keep our economy moving during this hard time. [The universal masking] order is meant to help us all avoid the public health issues which we faced this past spring. These summer measures, as I see it, are part of a strategy to help us avoid a second public health and economic crisis later in the year. Wearing your mask amounts to saying let’s beat the virus now, not later when it might be too late.”
"All Pennsylvanians should heed the Wolf Administration's directives to wear a mask when out of the home,” former Gov. Tom Ridge said. “Like all Pennsylvanians, Gov. Wolf and Secretary Levine are hoping to avoid the COVID-19 spikes impacting other states so that we can get our economy back up and running as soon as possible. Wearing a mask is a simple, selfless act all of us should support."
“A global pandemic like this requires leadership and swift action to prevent devastating effects on our citizens and our society,” former Gov. Ed Rendell said. “Governor Wolf’s mitigation efforts have been both effective and strong, and, as a result has saved the lives of countless Pennsylvanians. The recent spike means we must pull together again as a Commonwealth to stop the spread of this disease and keep our citizens and communities safe. The Governor’s new executive order on mitigation is the right thing to do, is measured and Pennsylvania will be better and safer for it. I encourage all of my fellow Pennsylvanians to stay safe, to wear a mask, to practice social distancing, and to help stop the spread of this disease.”
Majority of New Cases Now in Under-50 Population, College-Age Infections Growing
There are 968,081 patients who have tested negative to date. Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:
1% are ages 0-4;
1% are ages 5-12;
Nearly 3% are ages 13-18;
Nearly 9% are ages 19-24;
37% are ages 25-49;
23% are ages 50-64; and
25% are ages 65 or older.
Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.
The department reports 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+. The following regions have seen significant increases among 19 to 24-year-olds in each month from April to present in July:
SW – Approximately 5 percent of cases in April to approximately 20 percent of cases so far in July;
SE – Nearly 5 percent of cases in April to approximately 18 percent of cases so far in July;
NE – Approximately 6 percent of cases in April to approximately 16 percent of cases so far in July;
NW – Nearly 7 percent of cases in April to approximately 13 percent of cases so far in July; and
NC – Approximately 8 percent of cases in April to nearly 13 percent of cases so far in July.
SC – Approximately 7 percent of cases in April to approximately 13 percent of cases so far in July.
In nursing and personal care homes, there are 18,486 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,675 cases among employees, for a total of 22,161 at 797 distinct facilities in 60 counties. Out of our total deaths, 4,829 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here.
Approximately 7,682 of our total cases are in health care workers.