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Pennsylvania COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard Update for Nov. 6 - Nov. 12: Case Increases Top 26,000; Percent Positivity at 9.6% and 59 Counties with Substantial Transmission

11/16/2020

Harrisburg, PA - Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine 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 26,215 cases, statewide percent positivity of 9.6%, and a concerning 59 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.
  • Updated travel recommendations.

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 November 6 – November 12 to the previous seven days, October 30 – November 5.

“The significant increase in cases and percent positivity across much of the state is cause for concern,” Gov. Wolf said. “We need all Pennsylvanians to take a stand and answer the call to protect one another. We need Pennsylvanians to be united in wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing our hands and avoiding gatherings. It is only by working together that Pennsylvanians can prevent the spread of the virus.”

As of Thursday, November 12, the state has seen a seven-day case increase of 26,215 cases; the previous seven-day increase was 16,646 cases, indicating 9,569 more new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.

The statewide percent-positivity went up to 9.6% from 6.8% last week. Every county in the state has a concerning percent positivity above five percent except the following counties: Forest (1.8%); Cameron (2.1%); Union (3.2%), Wayne (3.7%) and Susquehanna (4.6).

“This week’s data, in terms of case increase, percent positivity and other factors is concerning,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. We know COVID-19 does not discriminate. It is affecting all Pennsylvanians, no matter your race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status or whether you live a rural, suburban or urban area. We need all Pennsylvanians to take the steps they can take to protect one another.”

Community Transmission
As of Friday’s data, Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Erie, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Tioga, Union, Venango, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming and York counties were in the substantial level of community transmission. The departments of Education and Health will speak with school district representatives in these counties to discuss the implications of this level of transmission.

For the week ending November 12, three counties were in the low level of transmission, five counties in the moderate level, with 59 with substantial transmission:

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

Cases 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 19,805 total cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds. Of that total, 3,198 occurred between November 6 – November 12. For the week of October 30 – November 5, there were 2,077 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 is providing 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.

Of the 20,985 confirmed cases reported between November 1 and November 7, 16 percent (3,327) provided an answer to the question as to whether they spent time at a business establishment.

Of those who did provide an answer, 16 percent, or 535, answered yes, they visited a business establishment 14 days prior to onset of symptoms:

  • 53 percent (284) of those who said yes reported going to a restaurant;
  • 26 percent (140) of those who said yes reported going to some other business establishment;
  • 12.5 percent (67) of those who said yes reported going to a bar;
  • 11 percent (60) of those who said yes reported going to a gym/fitness center; and
  • 7 percent (39) of those who said yes reported going to a salon/barbershop.

Of the 20,985 confirmed cases, 16 percent (3,335) answered the question as to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event. Of the 16 percent, 18.4 percent (615) 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 November 9, this week’s data saw a decrease for people who reported going to a restaurant (53 percent vs. 55 percent last week), going to a gym/fitness center (11 percent vs. 12 percent last week), going to a salon/barbershop (7 percent vs. 8 percent last week), and going to a bar (12.5 percent vs. 13 percent last week). Numbers remained the same for those going to some other business (26 percent vs. 26 percent last week. The number of those who attended a mass gathering or other large event decreased slightly to 18.4 percent from 19 percent last week. 

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

Travel Recommendations
Also today, the Department of Health updated its travel recommendations, originally announced on July 2, adding Virginia to the list of states recommended for domestic travelers returning from to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. In addition, the state added two neighboring states (Delaware and Maryland) to a list of bordering states in which non-essential travel is highly discouraged.

It is important that people understand that this recommendation is in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. A concerning number of recent cases have been linked to travel, and if people are going to travel, we need them to take steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community, and that involves quarantining.

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 anytime they are in public. COVID-19 has been shown to spread easily in the air and contagious carriers can be asymptomatic.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lyndsay Kensinger, Governor's Office - ra-gvgovpress@pa.gov
Nate Wardle, Health – ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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