State COVID Cases Continue Rapid Rise, Infections Among College-Aged in NE have tripled Since April
HARRISBURG (JUL 28 2020) - The commonwealth recorded over 1,000 new coronavirus cases again today for the third time in the last seven days.
According to figures released by the state Department of Health, as of 12:01 am this morning, there were 1,120 additional positive cases of COVID-19 identified in the state, bringing Pennsylvania's total to 109,384. Two dozen additional deaths were also reported, giving the commonwealth a total of 7,146 COVID deaths. About one-third of the new cases came from three counties - Allegheny County is reported 119 new cases, Philadelphia County had 175 new cases, and Delaware County had an increase of 118 cases. Monroe County's cases continue to rise, but not at the alarming rate in many places across the south and southwestern portions of the state. According to the health department figures, six additional COVID cases have been identified in the county, giving Monroe a total of 1,562 cases. One additional death was reported today. The total COVID-related deaths in the county is 122. Over the last seven days, the county has averaged 6 new cases a day. Only 5 patients are currently hospitalized in the county for COVID. The trend of infection rises among college-aged young adults, 19-24, continues. The trend was noted by the department in early July and caused the Secretary of Health to send an alert to hospitals and healthcare providers. Here in northeast Pennsylvania, college-aged COVID patients accounted for only six percent of new cases in April. In the first week of July, that number 8%, now it has nearly tripled, to 17%. Dr. Rachel Levine, the state health secretary, said the trend was noteworthy because that age group played a role in the initial surge of community spread of the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that young Americans' overall risk of developing a severe case of Covid-19 still appears to be low when compared with older Americans. However, CDC Director Robert Redfield earlier this month emphasized that increasing rates of infection in younger people was cause for concern because they act as a mechanism to spread the disease to more vulnerable populations. Public health reports show that younger people often have very mild symptoms, and may not be aware they are spreading the virus.
While the coronavirus' effects in younger patients “may not be highly associated with hospitalization and death,” young people still “act as a transmission connector for individuals that could in fact be at a higher risk,” Redfield said.
The number of tests administered in Pennsylvania within the last seven days (July 21 - 27) is 162,937 with 6,526 positive cases. Testing has increased, in the previous seven day period (July 14 - 20), the state administered 155,796, with 5,996 positive cases. The rate of testing increased 4.6%, while the number of new infections grew by 8.8%.