Pa coronavirus update: cases reach 83K, deaths total 6.5K. The increase in the case rate may be due to expanded testing. NJ, NY imposes quarantines on some travelers. The | Pa. COVID-19 county case map (06/24/20)

As the Lehigh Valley approaches the green phase of reopening on Friday, coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania reached 83,000 and the number of COVID-19 deaths statewide exceeded 6,500.

As of Wednesday, the total case count was 83,191 with 6,518 deaths, according to the daily report from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. With 495 new cases reported in the last day, the state’s seven-day average case rate is roughly the same level as it was two weeks ago.

Pennsylvania also reported 54 more coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday, the most in one day since June 9.

(Can’t see the map? Click here.)

Meanwhile, neighboring states are quarantining travelers from nine states where COVID-19 cases are on the rise. And a doctor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has said more attention should be paid to decreasing hospitalizations and severity of cases, rather than counts.

Here are your Pennsylvania coronavirus updates for June 23, 2020.

Coronavirus in Pa.

A week after Governor Tom Wolf highlighted a 42-day decline in Pennsylvania’s case rate, the state has seen a rebound. How long it lasts and what effects it may have to see.

Johns Hopkins University now reports an increase in the three-day moving average in the past two weeks. The seven-day moving average calculated by shows only a slight decrease in the case rate from 14 days ago: 482 today versus 492 on June 10.

(Can’t see the graph? Click here.)

Potentially, there are many factors at work on the rise, including the expansion of testing across the state and the implementation of universal testing in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, the press secretary for the newspaper told health department, Maggi Mumma.

In Pennsylvania, the majority of hospitalizations and deaths have been in residents over the age of 65, according to the health department. Long-term care facility residents account for 17,394 cases of COVID-19, about 21% of the state’s total, and 4,467 deaths, 68% of the death toll in Pennsylvania.

The health department estimates that 77% of Pennsylvania coronavirus patients have recovered. To date, 596,407 tests have been negative.

(Can’t see the graph? Click here.)

So far, there are no indications of any changes to the plan to move several counties, including the Lehigh Valley, to the green phase on Friday.

“We continue to take a careful and measured approach to ensuring that Pennsylvanians are able to resume normal work and routines safely,” he wrote in an email. “When the governor described the counties that were scheduled to reopen, he shared that this will continue to be monitored to ensure the safety of residents. We will continue to evaluate each county and if necessary go back to the previous phase if it is really unsafe to proceed with the reopening. ”

Coronavirus in the Lehigh Valley

The Lehigh Valley is slated to enter the green phase of reopening at 12:01 am Friday. That means that all businesses will be able to open, but security restrictions will apply. Masks and social distancing will be needed.

Based on data from the state Monday, the two-county Valley totaled 7,469 coronavirus cases and at least 543 COVID-19 deaths, 33 more cases and seven more deaths from the previous day. That breaks down into:

  • 4,130 cases and 284 deaths in Lehigh County.
  • 3,339 cases and 259 deaths in Northampton County.

(Can’t see the graph? Click here.)

The state reported more deaths in counties adjacent to the Lehigh Valley:

  • Berks County had two more deaths, 347 in total.
  • Bucks County had four more deaths, 559 in all.
  • Carbon County had one more death, 25.
  • Montgomery County had four more deaths, 791 total.

(Can’t you see the table? Click here.)

UPMC doctor: less emphasis on cases, more on severity

Fewer coronavirus patients are admitted to hospitals, at least at Pittsburgh-based UPMC, and those showing less severe symptoms than before in the pandemic, a UPMC doctor told the media on Wednesday, suggesting that it should be put less emphasis on case counting, PennLive Reports .com.

“We need to change our mentality and focus not exclusively on the number of cases, but on the severity of the disease. We shouldn’t just count those who have a diagnosed infection, ”said Dr. Donald Yealy, according to PennLive. “For the vast majority of people who test positive, their disease is mild or they don’t even know they have any symptoms of COVID-19 infection.”

(Pennsylvania hospitalization rates during the COVID-19 pandemic have been more difficult to obtain from health department data.)

That could be due to warmer weather and people who spend less time indoors. But he and others cautioned that masks and other precautions are still needed to prevent the spread of the disease.

(PLUS: The UPMC doctor sees too much emphasis on increasing COVID-19 cases, too little on decreasing severity and hospitalizations.)

NJ, NY imposes quarantine on some travelers

Two of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states will require travelers to be quarantined for 14 days if they come from at least nine states where coronavirus cases are on the rise.

The measures in New Jersey and New York, along with Connecticut, will take effect starting at 11:59 pm on Wednesday night. The list of currently affected states includes Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

The announcement comes when new cases of coronavirus in the US USA They have reached their highest level in two months and are now back to where they were at the peak of the outbreak.

(PLUS: NJ to require 14-day quarantine for travelers coming from states where coronavirus cases are on the rise)

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Steve Novak can be contacted at [email protected].