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 signs of 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 16 through October 22 with the previous seven days from October 9 through October 15.
"Our percent positivity and incidence rate for the Commonwealth rose significantly in the middle of our fall resurgence," said Governor Wolf. “We cannot emphasize enough the importance of Pennsylvanians working together to protect ourselves and others, such as: For example, wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash our hands, and avoid gatherings. Only together can Pennsylvanians prevent the virus from spreading. "
Since Thursday, October 22, the state has seen a seven-day increase in cases to 10,127. The seven-day increase was 8,849 cases, an increase of 1,278 cases from the previous week's total.
The nationwide percentage positivity increased to 5.0% from 4.2% last week. Counties with percent positivity include Huntingdon (12.0%), Bradford (11.2%), Lawrence (9.0%), Lebanon (8.7%), Westmoreland (8.4%), Perry (8th district) , 2%), Bedford (7.6%) and alfalfa (7.5%), Schuylkill (7.5%), Tioga (7.2%), York (7.2%), Indiana (7.0 %), Lackawanna (7.0%), Venango (7.0%), Mifflin (6.8%), Armstrong (6.7%)%), Berks (6.6%), Cumberland (6.6 %), Montour (6.3%), Philadelphia (6.1%), Franklin (6.0%), Elk (5.9%), Washington (5.9%), Mercer (5.6%) Dauphin (5.5%), Susquehanna (5.5%), Blair (5.3%), Clinton (5.3%), Clarion (5.1%), rthumberland (5.1%). Each of these counties and the state are watching as we continue to monitor all available data.
According to Friday's data, Berks, Bradford, Center, Elk, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Lebanon, Alfalfa, Mifflin, Montour, rthumberland, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and Westmoreland counties were all at significant levels of 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 up to October 22nd, nine districts were at the low transmission level, 43 districts were at the moderate level, and 15 were at a significant transmission level:
Low – Cameron, Woods, Fulton, Jefferson, Hecht, Potter, Sullivan, Warren, Wayne
Moderate – Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Biber, Bedford, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Chester, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Indiana, Juniata, Lancaster, Lehigh, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, rthampton, Perry, Snyder, Somerset, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Venango, Washington, Wyoming, York
Essential – Berks, Bradford, Center, Elk, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Lebanon, Alfalfa, Mifflin, Montour, rthumberland, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, 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 13,345 cases of COVID-19 in 5 to 18 year olds during the pandemic. Of these, 1,183 occurred between October 16 and October 22. In the week of October 9 to October 15, there were 991 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 replied to investigators that they spent time in business establishments (restaurants, bars, gyms, salons / barbershops) and at mass gatherings 14 days before the event began with Covid19 symptoms.
Of the 9,754 confirmed cases reported between October 11 and October 17, 29 percent (2,841) responded when asked if they spent time with a company.
Of those who responded, 16.3 percent, or 464, answered yes and visited a company 14 days before symptoms appeared:
55 percent (256) of those who said yes said they went to a restaurant;
26 percent (122) of those who said yes said they were going to another company;
13 percent (61) of those who said yes said they went to a bar;
11 percent (53) of those who said yes said they went to a gym; and
7.5 percent (35) of those who said yes said they went to a salon / barber shop.
Of the 9,754 confirmed cases, 29 percent (2,856) answered the question of whether they were attending a mass meeting or other major event. Of the 29 percent, 16.9 percent (482) answered yes to whether they attended a mass meeting or other major event 14 days before the onset of symptoms.
Compared to data reported on October 19, the number of visitors this week increased in this week's data (55 percent versus 50 percent last week). At 26 percent, the numbers for people who went to another store remained the same. The numbers for this week's data for people who reported going to a gym (11 percent versus 13 percent last week), a bar (13 percent versus 14 percent last week), and a visit Gym salon or hair salon (7.5 percent down from 8 percent last week). The number of those attending a mass meeting or other major event increased from 16 percent in the past week to 17 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 went to 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 provide information to these clinical professionals.
Also today, the Department of Health updated its travel recommendations originally announced July 2, without adding or removing states from the list of recommended states for domestic travelers returning 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 this includes quarantine on return to Pennsylvania.
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.