Pennsylvania COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard Update for April 23 – 29

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 17,774 a statewide percent positivity of 7.6% and 44 counties with substantial transmission status.

“This is the second week in a row where we are seeing a decline in the statewide positivity rate – which is encouraging news,” Gov. Wolf said. “We continue to evaluate all data like hospitalizations, deaths, testing, vaccinations as well as our confirmed and probable case increases to best understand the impact of COVID-19 in our communities. All data shows that the fight against COVID-19 is still underway. We appreciate the commitment of our fellow Pennsylvanians in continuing this fight.”

As of Thursday, April 29, the state has seen a seven-day case increase of 17,774 cases; the previous seven-day increase was 21,823 cases, indicating 4,049 fewer new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.

The statewide percent-positivity decreased to 7.6 percent from 8.6 percent when compared to last week. There are now 12 counties that have a positivity rate lower than 5 percent. There are no counties reporting over 20 percent positivity rate.

“As all Pennsylvanians 16 and older are eligible to receive vaccine, our goal is to educate residents on how this vaccine will provide the best layer of protection against the virus as we believe good information will lead to good decisions,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “We encourage residents to find a vaccine provider nearest them today.”

Community Transmission 
There are three levels of transmission: low, moderate and substantial.  

For the week ending April 30, there were three counties in the low level of transmission, 20 counties in the moderate level of transmission, and 44 counties were in the substantial level of community transmission.

  • Low – Cameron, Forest, Fulton
  • Moderate – Allegheny, Bedford, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Cumberland, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Snyder, Tioga, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland
  • Substantial – Adams, Armstrong, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Wayne, Wyoming, 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 117,859 122,648 total cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds. Of that total, 4,789 occurred between April 23 – April 29.

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 25,098 cases reported April 18 – April 24 and excluding Philadelphia County residents and those who answered the digital case investigation, 15.1 percent (3,782) of respondents provided an answer to the question as to whether they spent time at a business establishment.

Of the 25,098 cases, 15.1 percent (3,799) answered the question as to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event. Of the 15.1 percent of cases, 10.7 percent (407) 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 April 26, this week’s data saw an increase for people who reported going to some other business (35 percent vs. 30 percent last week). The data saw a decrease for people who reported going to a restaurant (42 percent vs. 45 percent last week) and those going to the bar (10 percent vs. 12 percent last week). The number of those going to a salon/barbershop (7 percent vs. 7 percent last week) and going to the gym (12 percent vs.12 percent last week) remained the same.

The number of those who attended a mass gathering or other large event decreased from 11.3 to 10.7 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 April 18 – April 24, there were 1,836 forms completed and returned. Of the 98.6 percent, or 1,811 people, who answered whether they spent time at any business establishment two days before symptom onset or positive collection date if asymptomatic, 10.3 percent, or 189 individuals, individuals answered yes:

  • 27 percent (51) of those who said yes reported going to a restaurant;
  • 3 percent (6) of those who said yes reported going to some other business establishment;
  • 12 percent (23) of those who said yes reported going to a bar;
  • 11 percent (20) of those who said yes reported going to a gym/fitness center; and,
  • 5 percent (10) 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.

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.