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 9,522, a statewide percent positivity of 5.3% and 22 counties with substantial transmission status.
“For the first time in many, many weeks we see less than 10,000 new cases reported. While this data is encouraging, we need to remember there are still thousands of cases being reported and we still need to take steps to protect ourselves and others – like getting vaccinated,” Gov. Wolf said. “Getting vaccinated will add the best layer of protection against this virus and getting us all back to the things we missed throughout the pandemic.”
As of Thursday, May 13, the state has seen a seven-day case increase of 9,522 cases; the previous seven-day increase was 14,400 cases, indicating 4,878 fewer new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.
The statewide percent-positivity decreased to 5.3 percent from 6.6 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.
“Pennsylvania is showing a decline in new cases and hospitalizations from the Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard as well as a continued increase in vaccinations,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “Pennsylvanians continue to unite against COVID-19.”
There are three levels of transmission: low, moderate and substantial.
For the week ending May 14, there were four counties in the low level of transmission, 41 counties in the moderate level of transmission, and 22 counties were in the substantial level of community transmission.
· Low – Cameron, Forest, Fulton, Sullivan
· Moderate – Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Centre, Chester, Clarion, Clinton, Crawford, Cumberland, Delaware, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh, Mercer, Montgomery, Montour, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Snyder, Somerset, Tioga, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland, Wyoming, York
· Substantial – Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Cambria, Carbon, Clearfield, Columbia, Dauphin, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mifflin, Monroe, Northampton, Perry, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Union, Venango
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 128,968 total cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds. Of that total, 2,649 occurred between May 7 – May 13.
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 15,718 cases reported May 2 – May 8 and excluding Philadelphia County residents and those who answered the digital case investigation, 14.8 percent (2,322) of respondents provided an answer to the question as to whether they spent time at a business establishment.
Of the 15,718 cases, 14.9 percent (2,340) answered the question as to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event. Of the 14.9 percent of cases, 12.4 percent (290) 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 May 11, this week’s data saw an increase for people who reported those going to a restaurant (46 percent vs. 41 percent last week), those going to the bar (14 percent vs. 12 percent last week) and those going to a salon/barbershop (8 percent vs. 7 percent last week).The data saw a decrease for people who reported going to some other business (26 percent vs. 32 percent last week) and those going to the gym (10 percent vs.12 percent last week).
The number of those that attended a mass gathering or other large event increased from 11.5 to 12.4 percent compared to last week.
In addition to the traditional case investigation, the Department of Health launched the Connect & Protect Form as a means to complete a digital case investigation. During the week of May 2 – May 8, there were 977 forms completed and returned. Of the 98.4 percent, or 981 people, who answered whether they spent time at any business establishment two days before symptom onset or positive collection date if asymptomatic, 9.8 percent, or 98 individuals, individuals answered yes:
- 28 percent (27) of those who said yes reported going to a restaurant;
- 1 percent (1) of those who said yes reported going to some other business establishment;
- 10 percent (10) of those who said yes reported going to a bar;
- 8 percent (8) of those who said yes reported going to a gym/fitness center; and
- 3 percent (3) 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. Pennsylvanians are encouraged to wash their hands, social distance, avoid gatherings and download COVID Alert PA.