Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., September 18, that there were 760 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 148,683. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19.
The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between September 11 and September 17 is 172,682 with 6,046 positive cases. There were 26,068 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m., September 17. These results represent the total number of tests administered.
There are 7,934 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 21 new deaths reported. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.
“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. “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. Together, as Pennsylvanians, all of our efforts are designed to support our communities to ensure that cases of COVID-19 remain low.”
Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Beginning August 29, the department began publishing COVID-19 case counts using the updated standardized case definition for COVID-19 from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. This revised case definition updates criteria for case identification and case classification based on the continued evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. It updates probable case classifications and adds suspect case classifications. The definition for confirmed cases using a positive PCR test has not changed. Viral antigen tests, which identify people who are likely currently infected, will now be considered a probable case, even if the individual has no symptoms or exposure history. Persons with a positive antibody (serology) test, moving forward, will no longer be considered a probable case. However, cases previously counted as probable cases, using the prior national case definition, will remain counted as probable cases.
There are 257 cases who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 645 patients who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure.
There are 1,732,805 patients who have tested negative to date. Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:
- Approximately 1% are ages 0-4;
- Nearly 2% are ages 5-12;
- Approximately 4% are ages 13-18;
- Approximately 12% are ages 19-24;
- Approximately 36% are ages 25-49;
- Nearly 22% are ages 50-64; and
- Approximately 22% are ages 65 or older.
Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.
The department is seeing significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds. An alert was sent to healthcare providers about the changing COVID-19 case demographics, as there are more cases in younger age groups than in those 50-64 and 65+. The following regions saw significant increases among 19 to 24-year-olds in each month from April to date in September:
- NC – Approximately 7 percent of cases in April to approximately 70 percent of cases so far in September;
- SE – Nearly 5 percent of cases in April to nearly 32 percent of cases so far in September;
- NE – 6 percent of cases in April to approximately 39 percent of cases so far in September;
- SW – Approximately 5 percent of cases in April to approximately 28 percent of cases so far in September;
- NW – Nearly 7 percent of cases in April to nearly 18 percent of cases so far in September; and
- SC – Approximately 7 percent of cases in April to nearly 17 percent of cases so far in September.
In nursing and personal care homes, there are 22,162 resident cases of COVID-19, and 4,839 cases among employees, for a total of 27,001 at 957 distinct facilities in 61 counties. Out of our total deaths, 5,343 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here.
Approximately 10,281 of our total cases are among health care workers.
For the latest information for individuals, families, businesses and schools, visit “Responding to COVID-19” on pa.gov.
Currently, all 67 counties are in the green phase of reopening.
Statewide – The Wolf Administration has since noon, Sept. 17:
- Provided latest CMU metrics report.
- Signed order that restaurants may increase occupancy to 50 percent.
- Urged legislature to provide support to front-line workers.
- Provided Pennsylvania State Police enforcement data.
The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
- Clean surfaces frequently.
- Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
- If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics
- Daily COVID-19 Report
- Press releases regarding coronavirus
- Latest information on the coronavirus
- Photos of the state’s lab in Exton (for download and use)
- Coronavirus and preparedness graphics (located at the bottom of the page)
- Community preparedness and procedures materials
- Map with the number of COVID-19 cases
All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts.