STATEWIDE COVID-19 UPDATE
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DoH) reported 19,947 additional coronavirus cases the week of July 6-13, a substantial increase from 11,872 cases reported last week in an abbreviated reporting period. The seven-day moving average of newly reported cases was 2,850 cases per day, up 44% from 1,979 reported a week ago, but down 11.6% over the rate 30 days ago.
The week also marked a turning point as BA.5 has become the dominant strain, accounting for an estimated 56% of new infections. When added with its close cousin, BA.4, the two highly contagious strains account for three out of four infections in the health care region that includes Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the Chesapeake region.
To date, there have been 3.04 million infections statewide.
Department to stop phone app
The smartphone app that allows people to self-report COVID-19 infections and then alerts other app users who may have been exposed will stop operating on July 27.
The state DoH said COVID Alert PA, in use since early in the pandemic, is no longer an essential tool, even though the threat isn’t over. “As we move forward through this phase of the response, the COVID Alert PA app is no longer critical regardless of the current volume of COVID-19 cases. The department will continue to stay alert and monitor COVID-19 cases,” health department spokeswoman Maggi Barton said.
There are now 24 counties in the medium impact category. The recommendation for those in medium impact areas is that those in a household where someone is at higher risk for severe illness — cancer patients; those on immunosuppressive medications; people with chronic kidney, liver or lung disease; or those with cystic fibrosis or diabetes, among other conditions — should consider masking indoors and avoiding crowds when possible.
There were 48 additional deaths reported over the past week, with another 80 deaths added to the cumulative total for the state from other time periods. The seven-day moving average of deaths per day is 6.9, compared with 7.9 a week ago, a decrease of 12.7% in the last seven days. Pennsylvania has recorded 45,949 deaths since March 2020.
The latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show:
There are 8.92 million fully vaccinated people in Pennsylvania, accounting for 69.7% of the population. An additional 2.12 million people are in need of their follow-up shot. In total, 23.89 million shots have been put into the arms of 11.04 million people, or 86.3% of the state’s residents.
Vaccinations statewide (excluding Philadelphia) were at 22,525,146, with 8,455,930 providing full vaccination status. That accounts for 66.4% of the total population. Another 4,030,568 received the first booster dose. Since March 29 665,221 Pennsylvanians have received their second booster dose. Philadelphia has another 1,026,751 fully vaccinated – 69.3% of all residents - with 433,917 receiving a first booster dose.
An average of 5,240 vaccinations are being administered to Pennsylvania residents each day, according to CDC data. Of those, 1,409 are first doses. The number of total vaccinations per day is down 62% over the last 30 days. The number of first doses being given per day is down 50.3% over the last 30 days.
There were 1,036 people hospitalized according to the latest report, with 130 in intensive care, and 38 on ventilators. Statewide hospitalizations have decreased 11.9% over the last week, and are down 23.5% in the last 30 days.