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PA sees jump in virus cases

COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state at a record rate.

On Saturday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 1,742 new positives, Pennsylvania’s highest single-day increase since April 10. The state has had a total of 171,050 cases. The DOH no longer reports cases on Sunday. Those numbers will be updated today.

Locally, the DOH reported 81 new cases of the deadly virus and one new death in Centre County. The death took place at Mount Nittany Medical Center, according to a news release. No additional information about the patient was immediately available.

The death is the 13th among Centre County residents reported by the DOH and the second this week. However, the Centre County Coroner’s Office has confirmed a total of nine with the patients ranging in age from 74 to 101. DOH reports deaths by county of residency — regardless of where they occur — while the coroner’s office reports only deaths that occur within the county.

Centre County now has 3,403 cases of the virus since the first was reported in March.

In Clinton County, three new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Saturday. Its case count now stands at 226.

As far as negative tests are concerned, Centre County had 610 new negative test results, according to the DOH. A total of 30,845 patients in Centre County have tested negative for the virus. In Clinton County, there were 27 new negative tests results. A total of 4,559 Clinton County residents have tested negative for the virus.

Statewide, there were 19,675 new negative test results. A total of 2,019,440 patients in Pennsylvania have tested negative for the virus.

“We know that congregation, especially in college and university settings, yields increased case counts. The mitigation efforts in place now are essential to flattening the curve and saving lives,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a news release. “Wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and following the requirements set forth in the orders for bars and restaurants, gatherings, and telework will help keep our case counts low. Make your phone part of the fight against COVID-19 today by downloading the COVID Alert PA exposure notification app. Together, as Pennsylvanians, all of our efforts are designed to support our communities to ensure that cases of COVID-19 remain low.”

In Centre County, hospitalizations continue to rise. According to DOH data, Centre County has 12 COVID-19 hospitalizations. On Friday, Mount Nittany Medical Center reported it had 13 COVID-positive patients. That forced the hospital to activate the first step of its “surge capacity plan” — rescheduling elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures that require overnight admission.

“We cannot overemphasize the importance of everyone adhering to social distancing, masking and hand washing protocols,” Mount Nittany Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nirmal Joshi said in a release. “Our community case levels remain very high and we are seeing cases and hospitalizations from a range of ages and communities. Everyone must be vigilant and recognize that this significant rise in cases is not contained to specific age groups or locations.”

Today, students at Bellefonte Area Middle School and Bellefonte Area High returned to classes. Both schools were closed on Friday after a positive case in each school. According to the district, the each school underwent a deep cleaning over the past three days. Students transitioned to remote learning for one day.

The 16823 zip code (Bellefonte, Pleasant Gap) have 117 confirmed cases and 11 probable cases.

Lycoming County added 11 cases on Saturday. Its total now stands at 818. In other nearby counties, the numbers look like this: Blair (887), Cambria (753), Union (597), Clearfield (363), Potter (36) and Cameron (8).

For more information about COVID-19 or to take a closer look at the numbers, visit health.pa.gov.

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