April 17pm COVID-19 Update – Pennsylvania American College of Physicians

April 17 (afternoon) Pennsylvania COVID-19 Update

On Thursday the Department of Health reported that Pennsylvania had found another new 1,706 positive cases in the previous 24 hours, for a total of 29,441. The death total rose to 756 deaths, 49 in the last 24 hours, all in adult patients. There were 117,932  negative tests in PA as of midnight Wednesday night.
A total of 3,716 of the positive cases are in 321 of the state’s licensed long-term care facilities (up from the 306 facilities reported on Wednesday) in 34 counties.  There are 420 cases among employees of those facilities. 
For the first time, the Department released data on sex and ethnicity of positive patients.  Of the total Thursday, 15,549 positive cases (53%) were female and 13,426 (46%) were male. Two percent (466) were unreported or neither.  Among the deaths, 420 were males and 331 were female with five unreported by sex.
By race, 4,876 were Caucasian (16%) 2497 were African-American (8%) and 253 (1%) were Asian.  The vast majority, 21,724 (74% of all cases) did not report the race of the patient.
Thursday at noon, approximately 2,597 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, slightly less than 10% of those testing positive.  At that time, 666 were using ventilators or ECMO.  About 41% of beds, 37% of ICU beds are available, and 1470 of 4909 ventilators were in use (70% of ventilators were still available.) 
Of the patients who tested positive to date the age breakdown was unchanged from Saturday: less than 1% are aged 0-4; less than 1% are aged 5-12; 1% are aged 13-18; 6% are aged 19-24; 40% are aged 25-49; 29% are aged 50-64; and 23% are aged 65 or older. 
51% of the patients hospitalized are aged 65 or older, and 29% are aged 50-64.  19% are ages 25-49.  Most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. There have been no pediatric deaths to date.
Governor Lists Requirements for Business Order Changes
Friday Afternoon, Governor Wolf announced his requirements for reopening the state’s businesses and expanding the economic return.  He said, “For weeks my administration has been working on a plan to reopen PA.  All of us are anxious to reopen, but we cannot exacerbate the damage of the pandemic.  We need to make smart data-driven decisions and can’t  afford to be emotional.
The following standards will have to be met for when Pennsylvania begins to reopen and relieve existing orders:.

  1. It must be data driven and regionally based
  2. Guidance and recommendations will be necessary for employers, individuals and health care facilities.
  3. There must be adequate personal equipment and testing available
  4. There must be adequate monitoring  in place
  5. Protections for vulnerable populations, limitations on visitors, will be part of this effort.
  6. Limitations on large gatherings should remain in place for the duration of the process.

Governor Wolf said he would be providing more detail on this information next week, noting that there is not one policy, answer or detail that would work statewide, and that the reopening would be measured and protect life.