COVID-19 Cases Update, September 22


The state Health Department’s data showed improvement last week, with a statewide seven-day test positivity rate Sept. 11 through Sept. 17 of 3.8 percent, down from the prior week’s rate of 4.2 percent. While the seven day virus case total showed an increase, from 4,993 a week earlier to 5,519, positivity was lower.

According to the Department, the primary problem areas appear to be counties with colleges or universities. Centre County (home of Penn State) had the highest level of 7-day test positivity (12.1 percent) and the second highest increase of 7-day case total (+78) in the state; Indiana (11.6 percent), York (7.8 percent), Juniata (7.7 percent), Mercer (6.7 percent), Lebanon (6.1 percent), Berks (6 percent), Chester (5.5 percent), Crawford (5.5 percent) and Bedford (5.3 percent) counties also have test positivity rates above 5 percent, though for three of those counties (Indiana, Juniata and Chester), their current rate is lower than it was a week ago. Berks, Centre and York counties were also responsible for roughly half of the week-over-week statewide increase in cases.

A decreasing positivity rate while cases are increasing also suggests at least some of the case increase is due to increased testing, which had jumped by more than 20,000 when comparing the 7-day total for Sept. 11 through Sept, 17 with the total for Sept. 4 through Sept. 10.

The department reported that now, 82 percent of all cases identified since March have recovered from the virus, which means there are approximately 25,500 reported active virus cases statewide.

Hospitalizations have continued to fall while cases have been rising, The statewide seven-day average of hospitalizations had declined to 479.4 from 496.6 a week ago. The 14-day moving average, as of Sunday was down to 479.1, according to the department’s COVID-19 data website, which seems to report new hospitalization lows every day; even when cases were dropping dramatically during June, before the summer case “resurgence,” hospitalizations still exceeded 1,000. Despite the large increase in positive cases reported in Centre County, hospitalizations were in single digits.

Official totals at midnight September 22, showed 834 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 151,646. Centre County alone reported an increase of 185 cases.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 22,331 resident cases of COVID-19, and 4,893 cases among employees, for a total of 27,224 at 962 distinct facilities in 61 counties. Out of our total deaths, 5,360 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here.

Approximately 10,419 of our total cases are among health care workers.

To date, 8,023 total Pennsylvania deaths have been attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 19 new deaths reported. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between September 15 and September 21 is 179,343 with 5,749 positive cases. There were 23,317 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m., September 21.

There are 1,777,916 patients who have tested negative to date. Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:

  • Approximately 1% are ages 0-4;
  • Nearly 2% are ages 5-12;
  • Approximately 4% are ages 13-18;
  • Nearly 13% are ages 19-24;
  • Approximately 36% are ages 25-49;
  • Nearly 22% are ages 50-64; and
  • Nearly 22% are ages 65 or older.

The department continues to report significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds. The following regions saw significant increases among 19 to 24-year-olds in each month from April to date in September:

  • NC – Approximately 7 percent of cases in April to approximately 70 percent of cases so far in September;
  • NE – 6 percent of cases in April to approximately 38 percent of cases so far in September;
  • SE – Nearly 5 percent of cases in April to nearly 31 percent of cases so far in September;
  • SW – Approximately 5 percent of cases in April to nearly 29 percent of cases so far in September;
  • NW – Nearly 7 percent of cases in April to approximately 19 percent of cases so far in September; and
  • SC – Approximately 7 percent of cases in April to approximately 17 percent of cases so far in September.

For the latest information for individuals, families, businesses and schools, visit “Responding to COVID-19” on