On a day when almost all Pennsylvania counties are now in the green phase, the state reported a relatively low number of new cases of coronavirus.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 600 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing the state total to 84,370.
In Pennsylvania, 6,579 deaths have been linked to COVID-19, including 22 new deaths reported on Friday. More than two-thirds of the state’s deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes. The health department released new data on Friday morning; The figures reflect reported cases and deaths as of midnight.
The number of new cases is the highest in two weeks, but remains well below peak days in the spring, when the state regularly reported more than 1,000 new cases in one day. The one-day high of 1,989 new cases was reported on April 9. There are 634,711 people who tested negative.
Fewer people are being treated for the coronavirus in hospitals. The health department reported that 677 patients with COVID-19 are in hospitals, up from 700 on Thursday. The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals is about a quarter of the peak in the spring.
Last Friday, Governor Tom Wolf moved 12 new counties, including the Philadelphia region, to the green phase of his color-coded plan to reopen Pennsylvania. These counties have been given state approval to enter the green phase: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Susquehanna.
Philidelphia will actually wait another week before moving on to the green phase; City officials have said they want to maintain some restrictions until July 3.
The last county will turn green.
As of Friday, only one of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties remains in the yellow phase: Lebanon County. Wolf announced Friday that Lebanon County can move into the green phase on July 3.
Last week, the Wolf administration cited an increase in cases for keeping Lebanon County in the yellow phase. The administration blamed Lebanon County officials for allowing businesses to open before state guidelines.
Speaking at Penton State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center on Wednesday, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said a “combination of community spread” and long-term care facility cases are responsible for the high rate of increase. recent in Lebanon County.
“When the numbers have shown that the number of new cases has decreased, they can go green,” he said.
Legislators and businesses in Lebanon County have sued the Wolf administration for failing to move the county into the green phase.
Earlier this week, Karen Groh, president and CEO of the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce, said that very few local businesses chose to reopen orders from the Wolf administration. In a letter to the Wolf administration, Groh wrote that it was a “tremendous disappointment” when the governor kept the county in the yellow phase.
“The impact of continued closings on these businesses may prevent recovery for many,” the camera said.
According to the health department, 4,518 deaths from coronavirus have occurred statewide in nursing homes and personal care homes. That represents 68 percent of the state’s COVID-19 deaths.
There are 17,527 long-term care facility residents who have contracted the virus, along with 3,162 employees. A total of 20,689 people have been infected in long-term care facilities.
Cases have been found in 678 long-term care facilities in 51 counties.
In Pennsylvania, 6,395 healthcare workers have been infected.
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