Harrisburg, PA (STL.News) Governor Tom Wolf and Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam released a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System?dashboard, highlighting a seven-day case increase of 21,167 a statewide percent positivity of 8.6% and 53 counties with substantial transmission status.
“This week we saw a decrease in reported cases and a lower statewide percent positivity – which is encouraging news,” Gov. Wolf said. “We need all Pennsylvanians to stay the course. We need to get vaccinated, continue washing hands, wearing a mask and social distancing.”
As of Thursday, April 22, the state has seen a seven-day case increase of 21,167 cases; the previous seven-day increase was 25,339 cases, indicating 4,172 fewer new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.
The statewide percent-positivity decreased to 8.6 percent from 9.6 percent the previous week. There are now six counties that have a positivity rate lower than 5 percent. There are no counties reporting a positivity rate of more than 20 percent.
“All Pennsylvanians are eligible for safe and effective vaccines – and we encourage you to find a provider nearest you,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “We know getting vaccinated is a personal choice, but we will continue to educate residents on how this vaccine will provide the best layer of protection against the virus as we believe good information leads to good decisions.”
There are three levels of transmission: low, moderate and substantial.
For the week ending April 23, there were three counties in the low level of transmission, 11 counties in the moderate level of transmission, and 53 counties were in the substantial level of community transmission.
- Low – Cameron, Forest, Fulton
- Moderate – Crawford, Elk, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Snyder, Tioga, Venango, Warren, Washington
- Substantial – Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Wayne, Westmoreland, Wyoming, York
Cases Among 5-18-Year-Olds
The Department of Health provides weekly data on the number of statewide cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds.
Throughout the pandemic, there have been 117,859 total cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds. Of that total, 5,350 occurred between April 16 – April 22.
Cases by demographic group are available here.
The Department of Health provides weekly data on the number of individuals who responded to case investigators that they spent time at business establishments (restaurants, bars, gym/fitness centers, salon/barbershops) and at mass gatherings 14 days prior to the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.
The department continues to prioritize case investigations to prevent outbreaks. In addition to the need for people to answer the call from a case investigator, Pennsylvanians should continue to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Of the 28,747 cases reported April 4 – April 10 and excluding Philadelphia County residents and those who answered the digital case investigation, 11.4 percent (3,720) of respondents provided an answer to the question as to whether they spent time at a business establishment.
Of the 28,747 cases, 11.4 percent (3,288) answered the question as to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event. Of the 11.4 percent of cases, 11.3 percent (373) answered yes to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event 14 days prior to onset of symptoms.
Compared to data reported on April 20, this week’s data saw an increase for people who reported going to the bar (12 percent vs. 11 percent last week). The data saw a decrease for people who reported going to a restaurant (45 percent vs. 47 percent last week) and those going to some other business (30 percent vs. 31 percent last week). Those going to a salon/barbershop (7 percent vs. 7 percent last week) and those going to the gym (12 percent vs.12 percent last week) remained the same. The number of those who attended a mass gathering or other large event decreased from 11.6 to 11.3 percent compared to last week.
In addition to the traditional case investigation, the Department of Health launched the Connect & Protect Form as a means to complete a digital case investigation. During the week of April 4 – April 10, there were 1,355 forms completed and returned. Of the 98.8 percent, or 1,339 people, who answered whether they spent time at any business establishment two days before symptom onset or positive collection date if asymptomatic, 10 percent, or 136 individuals, individuals answered yes:
- 35 percent (48) of those who said yes reported going to a restaurant;
- 4 percent (5) of those who said yes reported going to some other business establishment;
- 11 percent (15) of those who said yes reported going to a bar;
- 8 percent (8) of those who said yes reported going to a gym/fitness center; and,
- 4 percent (6) of those who said yes reported going to a salon/barbershop.
The numbers above highlight business settings and mass gatherings as possible sites for transmission.
Gov. Wolf continues to prioritize the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians through the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvanians should continue to take actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, regardless of in what county they live, and whether or not they are vaccinated. This includes wearing a mask or face covering any time they are in public. COVID-19 has been shown to spread easily in the air and contagious carriers can be asymptomatic. Pennsylvanians are encouraged to get vaccinated, wash their hands, social distance, avoid gatherings and download COVID Alert PA.