Press release, Public Health
Governor Tom Wolf and Minister of Health Dr. Rachel Levine released a weekly status update today detailing the state's mitigation measures based on the COVID-19 early warning system dashboard. Updates are released every Monday.
The update includes the following:
- Level of Community broadcast as a basis for the recommendations for Pre-K at 12 schools to determine teaching models.
- Data on Cases in 5-18 year olds.
- Cases that have reported visit a shop under potential locations where exposures may have occurred.
- Updated Travel recommendations.
The dashboard is designed to provide early warning signals for factors influencing government mitigation efforts. The data available in the early warning monitoring dashboard includes week-to-week case differences, incidence rates, percent positivity of the tests, and rates of hospital stays, ventilation, and emergency room rates related to COVID-19. This week's update compares October 9th through October 15th with the previous seven days, October 2nd through October 8th.
"Our percent positivity and incidence rate for the Commonwealth rose again this week, while the Pennsylvania cases resurfaced this fall," said Governor Wolf. “We cannot emphasize enough the importance of Pennsylvanians working together to take steps to protect ourselves and others, such as: For example, wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash our hands, and avoid large gatherings. Together, the Pennsylvanians can work to prevent the virus from spreading. "
As of Thursday, October 15, the state has seen a seven-day increase of 8,723 cases. The previous seven day increase was 7,398 cases, up from 1,325 cases across the state over the past week.
The nationwide percentage positivity increased from 3.9% last week to 4.3%. Counties with percent positive include Huntingdon (9.9%), Westmoreland (8.9%), Bradford (8.3%), Lackawanna (8.2%), Lebanon (8.2%), Perry (8th district) , 2%), Elk (7.9%) and Susquehanna (7.1%), Bedford (6.8%), Berks (6.5%), Lawrence (6.4%), alfalfa (6.0 %), Schuylkill (5.9%), Dauphin (5.7%), Armstrong (5.6%), Center (5.6%)%), Tioga (5.5%), Carbon (5.1 %), Indiana (5.1%), Montour (5.0%), Blair (5.0%). Each of these counties are watching as the state continues to monitor all available data.
As of Friday's data, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Center, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Montour, Schuylkill, Union, and Westmoreland counties were all at significant levels of community transmission. The Ministries of Education and Health will speak to representatives from school districts in those districts to discuss the implications of this level of transmission.
In the week leading up to October 15, 10 counties were at the low transmission level, 46 counties were at the moderate level, and 11 with significant transmission:
- Low – Cameron, Clinton, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Juniata, Pike, Potter, Sullivan, Warren
- Moderate – Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Chester, Clarion, Clearfield, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Indiana, Jefferson, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh, Alfalfa, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, rthampton, rthumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Snyder, Somerset, Susquehanna, Tioga, Venango, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, York
- Essential – Berks, Blair, Bradford, Center, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Montour, Schuylkill, Union, Westmoreland
Cases in 5-18 year olds
The Ministry of Health provides weekly data on the number of nationwide cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18 year olds.
There were a total of 12,162 cases of COVID-19 in 5 to 18 year olds during the pandemic. Of these, 991 occurred between October 9th and October 15th. In the week of October 2 to October 8, there were 1,004 cases of COVID-19 in 5 to 18 year olds.
Cases by demographic group are available on the DOH website.
The Ministry of Health provides weekly data on the number of people who responded to investigators that they spent time in business establishments (restaurants, bars, gyms, salons / barbershop) and at mass gatherings 14 days before the event began with Covid19 symptoms.
Of the 8,580 confirmed cases reported between October 4 and 10, 33 percent (2,820) responded when asked if they spent time with a company.
Of those who responded, 17.2 percent or 484 answered yes and visited a company 14 days before symptoms appeared:
- 50 percent (243) of those who said yes said they went to a restaurant;
- 26 percent (125) of those who said yes said they were going to another company;
- 14.3 percent (69) of those who said yes said they went to a bar;
- 13 percent (64) of the respondents said they went to a gym. and
- 8 percent (38) of those who said yes said they went to a salon / hair salon.
Of the 8,580 confirmed cases, 33 percent (2,822) answered the question of whether they were attending a mass meeting or other major event. Of the 33 percent, 16.3 percent (424) answered yes to whether they attended a mass meeting or other major event 14 days before the onset of symptoms.
Compared to data reported October 13, the number of people who went to a gym (13 percent versus 10.6 percent last week), a salon or hair salon increased (8 percent versus 7 percent last week ). and go to another store (26 percent down from 25 percent last week). This week's data numbers for people who said they went to a restaurant (50 percent versus 53 percent last week) declined slightly for those who said they went to a bar (14.3 percent versus 14.5 percent last week). The number of those attending a mass meeting or other major event remained relatively the same at 16 percent.
The above numbers highlight business shutdowns and mass gatherings as possible locations for the broadcast. With fewer than half of respondents asking what types of businesses they visited or if they attended a mass meeting to answer the question, the department is reminding Pennsylvanians that it is important that people use the phone answer when the investigators call and that they fully and completely deliver information to these clinical professionals.
Also today, the Department of Health updated its travel recommendations, originally announced July 2, to remove Texas from the list of recommended states for domestic travelers who return to quarantine for 14 days after returning to Pennsylvania.
It's important for people to understand that this recommendation is in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. A worrying number of recent cases have been linked to travel and when people travel they must take steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community, and that includes quarantine.
Governor Wolf continues to prioritize the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians through the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvanians should continue to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 no matter what county they live in. This includes wearing a mask or face covering whenever they are in public. COVID-19 has been shown to spread easily through the air and contagious carriers can be asymptomatic.