Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., March 18, that there were 3,126 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 976,847.

There are 1,500 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 284 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. 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 trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients per day is about 4,500 lower than it was at the peak on December 25, 2020. However, the current 14-day average is now also below what it was at the height of the spring peak on May 3, 2020.

Statewide percent positivity for the week of March 5 – March 11 stood at 5.7%.

The most accurate daily data is available on the website, with archived data also available.

As of 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, March 17, there were 17 new deaths identified by the Pennsylvania death registry, reported for a total of 24,706 deaths attributed to COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

 

Vaccine highlights 

  • An analysis of CDC data on the number of vaccines administered per 100,000 of population over the past week (through March 17), puts Pennsylvania second in the nation behind only New Mexico. And, while these numbers fluctuate daily, this indicator demonstrates the state’s significant progress on vaccinating everyone who wishes to be vaccinated.
  • More than 3.9 million doses of vaccine administered across the state — more vaccine administered than 44 other states.
  • More than 1.3 million people fully vaccinated – with a seven-day moving average of more than 82,000 people per day receiving vaccinations.
  • This week, a total of 4,699,560 doses will have been allocated through March 20:
    • 278,670 first/single doses will have been allocated this week.
    • 242,270 second doses will have been allocated this week.
  • To date, of the 4,699,560 doses allocated through March 20, we have administered 3,931,546 doses total through March 17:
    • First/single doses, 95 percent (2,559,813 administered of 2,705,155 allocated)
    • Second doses, 64 percent (1,281,068 administered of 1,994,405 allocated)

Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

There are 119,221 individuals who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 640 individuals who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure.

There are 4,027,348 individuals who have tested negative to date.

In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there are 68,716 resident cases of COVID-19, and 13,951 cases among employees, for a total of 82,667 at 1,561 distinct facilities in all 67 counties. Out of total deaths reported to PA-NEDSS, 12,821 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here. Note that the number of deaths reported to NEDSS is not exactly the same as the COVID-19 related deaths reported by the death registry. The number of deaths among nursing and personal care home residents and employees is taken from the PA-NEDSS death data, as this information is not available in the death registry data.

Approximately 25,885 of our total cases are among health care workers.

Statewide – The Wolf Administration has since noon, Mar. 17:

While vaccine supply from the federal government remains limited, the Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient. To keep Pennsylvanians informed about vaccination efforts:

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.
  • Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.

Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics

Community preparedness and procedures materials

 

***

 

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam today released a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System dashboard, highlighting a seven-day case increase of 12,483 a statewide percent positivity of 5.7% and 21 counties with substantial transmission status.

The update includes the following:

The dashboard is designed to provide early warning signs of factors that affect the state’s mitigation efforts. The data available on the Early Warning Monitoring dashboard includes week-over-week case differences, incidence rates, test percent-positivity, and rates of hospitalizations, ventilations and emergency room visits tied to COVID-19. This week’s update compares the period of March 5 – March 11 to the previous seven days, February 26 – March 4.

“While case counts continue to decline, percent positivity decreases, and more and more Pennsylvanians are vaccinated, we still are reporting thousands of cases a day and that is still concerning,” Gov. Wolf said. “We are on the right course. As the weather gets warm, please remember to wear a mask, practice social distance and wash your hands frequently as the virus still has a presence in our communities.”

As of Thursday, March 11, the state has seen a seven-day case increase of 12,483 cases; the previous seven-day increase was 13,542 cases, indicating 1,059 fewer new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.

The statewide percent-positivity remained the same at 5.7 percent when compared to last week. There are now 29 counties that have a positivity rate lower than 5 percent. There are no counties reporting over 20 percent positivity rate.

“Throughout our COVID-19 response, we have added tools for residents such as our COVID Alert PA app, and dashboards and educational materials online. As Pennsylvania continues to receive greater supplies, we encourage you to educate yourself on the vaccine, which is the best tool to prevent serious illness or death from COVID-19 and to protect you, your loved ones, and your community.”

Community Transmission
From Friday, March 12 data, 21 counties were in the substantial level of community transmission, the highest level of transmission.

There are three levels of transmission: low, moderate and substantial. For the week ending March 12, there were five counties in the low level of transmission, 41 counties in the moderate level of transmission, and 21 counties were in the substantial level of transmission.

  • Low – Cameron, Forest, Fulton, Potter, Sullivan
  • Moderate – Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Chester, Clarion, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Elk, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lawrence, Luzerne, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Montgomery, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming
  • Substantial – Adams, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Centre, Clearfield, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Monroe, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Wayne, York

Cases Among 5-18-Year-Olds
The Department of Health provides weekly data on the number of statewide cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds.

Throughout the pandemic, there have been 88,970 total cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds. Of that total, 2,811 occurred between February 26 and March 4. For the week of February 26 to March 4, there were 2,543 cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds.

Cases by demographic group is available on the DOH website.

Business Visits
The Department of Health provides weekly data on the number of individuals who responded to case investigators that they spent time at business establishments (restaurants, bars, gym/fitness centers, salon/barbershops) and at mass gatherings 14 days prior to the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

The department continues to prioritize case investigations to prevent outbreaks. In addition to the need for people to answer the call from a case investigator, Pennsylvanians should continue to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Of the 15,960 cases reported February 28 through March 6 and excluding Philadelphia County residents and those who answered the digital case investigation, 17.7 percent (2,831) of respondents provided an answer to the question as to whether they spent time at a business establishment.

Of those who provided an answer, 2.6 percent, or 408, answered yes, they visited a business establishment 14 days prior to onset of symptoms:

  • 39 percent (157) of those who said yes reported going to a restaurant;
  • 38 percent (153) of those who said yes reported going to some other business establishment;
  • 15 percent (63) of those who said yes reported going to a bar;
  • 13 percent (53) of those who said yes reported going to a gym/fitness center; and
  • 7 percent (29) of those who said yes reported going to a salon/barbershop.

Of the 15,960 cases, 17.9 percent (2,857) answered the question as to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event. Of the 17.9 percent of cases, 9 percent (256) answered yes to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event 14 days prior to onset of symptoms.

Compared to data reported on March 8, this week’s data saw an increase for people who reported going to the bar (15 percent vs.11 percent last week). The data saw a decrease for people who reported going to a restaurant (39 percent vs. 40 percent last week) and those going to a salon/barbershop remained the same (7 percent vs. 8 percent last week).The number of those going to some other business (38 percent vs. 38 percent last week) and those going to the gym remained the same (13 percent vs. 13 percent last week). The number of those who attended a mass gathering or other large event increased from 8.6 to 9 percent compared to last week.

In addition to the traditional case investigation, the Department of Health launched the new Connect & Protect Form as a means to complete a digital case investigation. During the week of February 28 – March 6, there were 858 forms completed and returned. Of the 98.8 percent, or 848 people, who answered whether they spent time at any business establishment two days before symptom onset or positive collection date if asymptomatic, 12.8 percent, or 110 individuals, individuals answered yes:

  • 39 percent (43) of those who said yes reported going to a restaurant;
  • 5 percent (5) of those who said yes reported going to some other business establishment;
  • 14 percent (15) of those who said yes reported going to a bar;
  • 15 percent (16) of those who said yes reported going to a gym/fitness center; and
  • 4 percent (4) of those who said yes reported going to a salon/barbershop.

The numbers above highlight business settings and mass gatherings as possible sites for transmission. With less than 10 percent of those asked about what types of businesses they visited or if they attended a mass gathering responding to the question, the department is again reminding Pennsylvanians that it is essential that they answer the phone when case investigators call and to provide full and complete information to these clinical professionals or on the Connect & Protect form the case investigator provides.

Travel Recommendations
Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam signed an order on Mach 1 rescinding the travel restrictions order signed in November 2020.

Gov. Wolf continues to prioritize the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians through the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvanians should continue to take actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, regardless of in what county they live. This includes wearing a mask or face covering any time they are in public. COVID-19 has been shown to spread easily in the air and contagious carriers can be asymptomatic. Pennsylvanians are encouraged to wash their hands, social distance, avoid gatherings and download COVID Alert PA.