June 19 Afternoon Pennsylvania COVID-19 Update
- Wolf: 12 counties to go green June 26; Lebanon remains in yellow
- Friday's COVID-19 numbers and links
- DoH outlines contact tracing efforts
Wolf announces 12 more counties going green June 26; only Lebanon remains in yellow
Governor Tom Wolf today announced that 12 more counties will move to the green phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 26. These counties include Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Susquehanna.
Philadelphia County met the criteria and will move to the state’s green phase on June 26; however, local officials will maintain some additional restrictions until July 3. However, barbers, salons etc. will be allowed to open on June 26. The Wolf Administration has supported specific county requests for more restrictions throughout the phased reopening process.
The only county not slated to move to green on June 26 is Lebanon County. Against the advice of public health experts and against orders from Gov. Wolf and Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine aimed at keeping Pennsylvanians healthy, Lebanon County commissioners voted 2 to 1 along party lines to prematurely reopen in late May. Now, the county is facing an uptick in cases, and is unable to move to green.
“Lebanon County’s partisan, politically driven decision to ignore public health experts and reopen prematurely is having severe consequences for the health and safety of county residents,” Dr. Levine said. “Case counts have escalated and the county is not yet ready to be reopened. Lebanon County has hindered its progress by reopening too early. Because of this irresponsible decision, Lebanon County residents are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.”
The data dashboard of county cases and criteria for reopening consideration can be found here.
As counties reopen, Pennsylvania continues to see a steady decline in cases, a positive indicator that its phased, measured reopening plan is working to balance public health with economic recovery.
Friday’s Department of Health Data Report
On Friday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed that as of 12:00 a.m. June 19 there were 526 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 80,762. Approximately 6,141 of our total cases are in health care workers. The DoH estimates that 77% of all patients testing positive have recovered.
In nursing and personal care homes, there are 16,895 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,012 cases among employees, for a total of 19,907 at 651 distinct facilities in 47 counties.
There are 6,399 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 38 new deaths. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here. Out of our total deaths, 4,345 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here.
There are 556,456 patients who have tested negative to date. Another 630 patients have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure, which are considered probable cases and not confirmed cases. Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:
- Nearly 1% are ages 0-4;
- 1% are ages 5-12;
- 2% are ages 13-18;
- 6% are ages 19-24;
- Nearly 37% are ages 25-49;
- Nearly 25% are ages 50-64; and
- Nearly 28% are ages 65 or older.
Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.
Statewide – The Wolf Administration has since noon, June 18:
- Provided the latest CMU metrics.
- Provided an update from Pennsylvania State Police on business closure enforcement actions.
- Issued updated reopening orders for counties moving to green on June 19.
- Reminded Pennsylvanians that mask-wearing is critical to continued mitigation.
DoH: More than 4,000 Close Contacts of COVID-19 Cases Identified, Monitored through Contact Tracing Efforts
The Department of Health today announced more than 4,000 close contacts of COVID-19 cases have been identified and monitored to date through the contact tracing efforts of 500 trained contact tracers throughout the state, including 130 state health nurses. These efforts include the support from the six county health departments and four municipal health departments who have primary responsibility for all efforts inside their jurisdiction.
“We are now equipped with hundreds of contact tracers that can help us mitigate the spread of this virus, but we still need Pennsylvanians to be alert as COVID-19 remains a threat in our communities,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.“ Pennsylvania's public health professionals are the backbone of contact tracing and are supported by volunteers to supplement their ongoing work and case management technology tools to track, manage and evaluate efforts.
Over 800 contract tracers have volunteered through the ServPA platform, at least 50 through AmeriCorps and hundreds through other community organizations or academic institutions. The state has focused on building partnerships with organizations like AmeriCorps, who are volunteering 50 individuals to perform contact tracing this summer and exploring an additional 100 individuals in the fall. This month, Temple University has plans to onboard 200 students to help with contact tracing.
Regional consortiums will work to assess the number of contact tracers needed in each area, help recruit contact tracers and make sure training and education are available, and coordinate information and data to ensure consistency within the region. The consortiums will create a sustainable infrastructure that will support the growth of coordinated contact tracing efforts in each region, and will hopefully establish partnerships that could assist in other public health priorities moving forward. A regional approach grows existing community infrastructure and incorporates local knowledge, experience and connections.
In the southwest region, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation helped to mobilize the initial membership of the regional consortium and the department will continue to seek partners in this region and as it continues coordination to begin consortium meetings in the remaining regions: Northwest, Northcentral, Northeast, Southcentral, and Southeast.
The Wolf Administration will only partner with organizations and entities throughout this contact tracing strategy that have an established commitment to non-discriminatory practices. The Department of Health has created partnerships to connect with bilingual Pennsylvanians and will continue to build an inclusive network to communicate in other languages.
You can find more information on the state’s contact tracing plan and more about the contact tracing process on our website. Those who would like to become a contact tracer, as either an individual or a group, can find information to sign up.