The following is the latest COVID-19 information from Pennsylvania’s state government as of 2:00 p.m. on Friday, November 13.
Department of Health
The Department of Health updated its guidance for providers on the counseling of patients evaluated for or diagnosed with COVID-19 to self-isolate and identify persons with whom they were in close contact in the 48 hours before symptom onset. A COVID-19 Close Contact Worksheet and COVID-19 Patient Instructions for Self-Isolation While Awaiting Laboratory Results accompanied the guidance.
Department of Health – by the numbers
- Pennsylvania’s number of COVID-19 cases today surpassed 250,000.
- At the height of the pandemic in the spring, Pennsylvania never exceeded 2000 new cases in a single day. On October 22 the state reached that mark for the first time and five days later it rose past 2500. On November 6 the state climbed past 3000 new cases in a single day for the first time and then, quickly, past 4000 in one day on November 7 and past 5000 yesterday. The number has now risen for five consecutive days, to an all-time high today.
- More than 9200 Pennsylvanians have now died from COVID-19. Daily death figures are now generally higher than they have been since May.
- Nearly 29,000 residents of long-term-care facilities and more than 6000 people who work in those facilities have contracted COVID-19. Those figures encompass 1144 facilities in 63 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.
- More than 13,300 health care workers in the state have contracted COVID-19.
- The number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 has doubled since late last month.
- The number of COVID-19 patients currently breathing with the help of a ventilator has done the same.
- Nearly 500 Pennsylvanians are currently in hospital intensive care units being treated for COVID-19.
- 18 percent of hospital adult ICU beds are currently unoccupied, as are 15 percent of medical/surgical beds, 35 percent of pediatric beds, nine percent of pediatric ICU beds, and 36 percent of airborne isolation unit beds.
- The state-wide positivity rate on COVID-19 tests rose from 6.1 percent last week to 6.9 percent this week.
- A positivity rate greater than five percent is considered “concerning,” Department of Health Secretary Levine has explained in the past.
- According to the early warning dashboard released weekly by the governor and Department of Health, counties with especially high positivity rates during the week of October 25 were led by Bedford (17.5 percent), Indiana (14 percent), Armstrong (13.1 percent), Franklin (12.3 percent), Lawrence (12.2 percent), Bradford (12.1 percent), Wyoming (12 percent), and Venango (11.8 percent).
- That same dashboard shows the following counties currently experiencing “substantial levels of community transmission” of COVID-19: Adams, Armstrong, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clarion, Crawford, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mercer, Mifflin, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Wyoming.
Of the confirmed cases reported between October 25 and October 31, 21 percent responded to contact tracers’ questions about whether they spent time at a business establishment. Of those who answered, 18.7 percent said they visited a business establishment 14 days prior to onset of symptoms. Among them:
- 55 percent reported going to a restaurant
- 26 percent reported going to some other business establishment
- 13 percent reported going to a bar
- 12 percent reported going to a gym/fitness center
- eight percent (reported going to a salon/barbershop
In addition, 18.9 percent of respondents said they had attended a mass gathering or other large event 14 days prior to onset of symptoms.
Resources to Consult
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention