HomeLocal NewsNearly 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in PA so far; percent positivity decreases to 5.7 percentNearly 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in PA so far; percent positivity decreases to 5.7 percentTue, March 9, 2021 by wcednewsSHARE NOW Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., March 8, there were 1,658 additional positive cases of COVID-19, in addition to 1,518 new cases reported Sunday, March 7, for a two-day total of 3,176 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 950,161.There are 1,587 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 314 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 4,300 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 February 26 – March 4 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. Saturday, March 6, there were 32 new deaths and as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 7, there were 7 new deaths identified by the Pennsylvania death registry, reported for a total of 24,356 deaths attributed to COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.COVID-19 Vaccine DistributionPennsylvania hospitals began receiving shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 14 and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 21. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine was first allocated to Pennsylvania the week of March 1, and the commonwealth is using it for a special initiative involving educators. Vaccination numbers for Pennsylvania do not include Philadelphia, which is its own jurisdiction, or federal facilities, which are working directly with the federal government.This week, a total of 4,179,220 doses will have been allocated through March 13:254,150 first/single doses will have been allocated this week.225,890 second doses will have been allocated this week. To date, of the 4,179,220 doses allocated through March 13, we have administered 2,981,190 doses total through March 7:First/single doses, 84 percent (2,029,732 administered of 2,427,085 allocated)Second doses, 54 percent (951,458 administered of 1,752,135 allocated)Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home, even if fully vaccinated. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.There are 114,008 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 3,948,020 individuals who have tested negative to date.In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there are 67,933 resident cases of COVID-19, and 13,443 cases among employees, for a total of 81,376 at 1,561 distinct facilities in all 67 counties. Out of total deaths reported to PA-NEDSS, 12,610 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 25,126 of our total cases are among health care workers.Statewide – The Wolf Administration has since noon, Mar. 7: Thanked lawmakers for responding to the needs of Pennsylvanians by passing federal aid package.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 Your Turn tool provides a way to register to be alerted when it’s your turn to be vaccinated.A commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination guide explains the current process for getting one. Pennsylvanians with questions about the vaccination process can call the Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258.Vaccine provider map to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.All of the locations that received vaccine and how much they have received can be found on the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution webpage.Vaccine dashboard data can also be found on the website to find more information on the doses administered and showcase demographic information.Pennsylvanians can provide feedback on the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan by clicking on the Plan Feedback Form square under Popular Vaccine Topics here.Frequently asked questions can be found here.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, GraphicsDaily COVID-19 ReportPress releases regarding coronavirusLatest information on the coronavirusPhotos 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***Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam 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 13,275, a statewide percent positivity of 5.7% and 29 counties with substantial transmission status.The update includes the following:Level of community transmission as a basis for the recommendations for Pre-K to 12 schools to determine instructional models.Data on cases among 5-18-year-olds.Cases that reported visiting a business among potential locations where exposures may have occurred.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 February 26 – March 4 to the previous seven days, February 19 – February 25.“We continue to ask all Pennsylvanians to stay the course to unite against this virus,” Gov. Wolf said. “As we have passed one year since the first case of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania and are rolling out our vaccination plan, practicing the proven health practices such as social distancing, washing hands frequently and wearing a mask continue to be important steps to mitigating the spread of the virus.”As of Thursday, March 4, the state has seen a seven-day case increase of 13,275 cases; the previous seven-day increase was 13,294 cases, indicating 19 fewer new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.The statewide percent-positivity went down to 5.7% from 6.5% last week. We now are seeing 22 counties who have a positivity rate lower than 5 percent. There are no counties reporting over 20 percent positivity rate.“Thank you to all our fellow Pennsylvanians who practice safe and healthy practices and answer the call when public health professionals call to perform a case investigation or contact tracing – these practices truly help us unite and fight COVID-19 across the state,” Acting Sec. of Health Beam said. “We are moving in the right direction thanks to the commitment of our fellow Pennsylvanians.”Community Transmission As of Friday’s data, 29 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 February 26, there was five counties in the low level of transmission, 33 counties in the moderate level of transmission, and 26 counties were in the substantial level of transmission.Low – Cameron, Forest, Fulton, Potter, SullivanModerate – Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Chester, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lawrence, Lebanon, McKean, Montgomery, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Susquehanna, Tioga, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, WyomingSubstantial – Beaver, Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Pike, Union, Wayne, YorkCases Among 5-18-Year-Olds The Department of Health is providing weekly data on the number of statewide cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds.Throughout the pandemic, there have been 86,159 total cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds. Of that total, 2,543 occurred between February 26 and March 4. For the week of February 19 – February 25, there were 2,477 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.It is important to note that due to the number of cases, the department is prioritizing case investigations to prevent outbreak. In addition to the need for people to answer the call, the significant number of cases helps contribute to the low percentages in case investigation data. All of this reinforces the need for Pennsylvanians to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.Of the 17,073 cases reported between February 21-27 and excluding Philadelphia County residents and those who answered the digital case investigation, 15 percent (2,556) provided an answer to the question as to whether they spent time at a business establishment.Of the 17,073 cases, 15 percent (2,562) answered the question as to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event. Of the 15 percent of cases, 8.6 percent (220) 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 1, this week’s data saw an increase for people who reported going to a restaurant (40 percent vs. 38 percent last week) and going to some other business (38 percent vs. 35 percent last week). The data saw a decrease for people who reported going to a bar (11 percent vs.13 percent last week). The number of people going to the gym remained the same compared to last week (13 percent vs. 13 percent last week) and the number of those going to a salon/barbershop remained the same (8 percent vs. 8 percent last week).The number of those who attended a mass gathering or other large event increased from 6.1 to 8.6 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 21-27, there were 728 forms completed and returned. Of the 99.5 percent, or 724 people, who answered whether they spent time at any business establishment two days before symptom onset or positive collection date if asymptomatic, 14.3 percent, or 104 individuals, individuals answered yes:62 percent (64) of those who said yes reported going to a restaurant;4 percent (4) of those who said yes reported going to some other business establishment;19 percent (14) of those who said yes reported going to a bar;19 percent (20) of those who said yes reported going to a gym/fitness center; and6 percent (6) 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. It is important to note that currently Pennsylvania is experiencing widespread community 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.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.