State’s coronavirus cases continue to climb
Second day in a row for recent COVID-19 highs
On Friday, for the second day in a row, the state Department of Health reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases since April 30.
There were 1,380, four more than Thursday and the third consecutive day in which cases exceeded 1,300.
On April 30, the DoH reported 1,397 positives — a number exceeded several times that month, including April 9, when the department reported its so-far highest ever number, 1,989.
The number of deaths, however, remains relatively modest recently — with nine on Friday.
The death toll went as high as 554 on May 5 — although high counts like that tended to be from “data dumps,” as Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine has explained.
Locally, Centre County added 468 new cases over the past week, bringing its total to 3,322, almost four times as many as the next local county, Blair, which has 844 cases, including 103 this week.
Cambria County added 89 cases in the week, taking its total to 728.
Huntingdon County also saw a spike with 78 new cases for the week and boosting its total to 509.
Bedford County added 21 new cases in the last seven days, bringing its total to 274.
Clearfield County recorded 14 new cases, pushing its total to 353.
Despite Centre’s high number of positives, its total number of deaths is only 12, which isn’t an outlier among local counties.
Centre’s death total is second-most in the area, eight behind Blair, which on Friday recorded its 20th death.
The relative low number of deaths in Centre probably reflects the high proportion of its cases occurring among younger people — students at Penn State’s University Park, where 3,159 students so far have tested positive.
Of those, however, only 541 cases are “currently active,” although 736 students are awaiting results, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Of the active cases, 136 students are in isolation at the university and 60 who have been exposed to infection are in quarantine, according to the dashboard.
Seven employees at the main campus have been infected.
There have been 157 student cases at Penn State Altoona, 24 still active, with 57 students still waiting for test results.
There are 45 exposed students in quarantine.
Centre County’s overall outbreak continues to subside, according to the state’s COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard, which is updated on Fridays with figures for the seven days through Wednesday.
In the past week, there were 56 fewer new cases in Centre than in the previous week, and there were only 262 new cases per 100,000 people, down from 291 the week before, according to the early warning dashboard.
Centre’s positivity rate was 7.6 percent, down from last week’s 9.4 percent.
Blair’s situation, though not nearly as dire overall, is going in the other direction, with 20 more cases in the last week than in the previous one, and with an incidence rate of 84 new cases per 100,000 people — up by 17 from the week before.
Positivity in Blair is 4.2 percent, just below the 5 percent considered concerning.
Huntingdon County also was showing statistics that merit attention: Its number of new cases for the past week was up 18, its incidence rate was 93 and its positivity rate, 5.8 percent.
Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.