March 25 - State passes one million Covid-19 infections; Vaccination coverage expanding

Pennsylvania added more than 3,600 coronavirus cases on March 24, continuing a two-week surge in infections and sending the state past the grim milestone of 1 million cases since the start of the pandemic.

There have been 1,000,240 infections recorded, putting the state in the company of California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Georgia and Ohio in tallying more than a million cases since Jan. 21 of last year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The seven-day moving average of newly reported cases was 3,342, up 27% from 2,638 a week ago and up almost 26% from 30 days ago. There have been more than 85,000 cases reported in the last 30 days.

When adjusted for population, the CDC report shows that Pennsylvania fares pretty well by comparison, ranking 42nd out of the 50 states plus two jurisdictions — District of Columbia and New York City, which is administered separately from New York state — for the number of cases per 100,000 residents.

Pennsylvania has 7,748 cases per 100,000 residents, or 7.7% of its population known to have been infected. The top rate is held by North Dakota, at 13,385 per 100,000, or 13.4% of its population. At just under 2% of its population known to have been infected, Hawaii has the lowest rate.

The same metric for the last seven days shows Pennsylvania jumping to ninth out of the 52 CDC jurisdictions, reflecting the recent increase in case rates. The highest seven-day rate is 352 cases per 100,000, in New York City. That’s more than twice Pennsylvania’s rate of about 166.

Beyond the overall numbers, the Department of Health has issued new orders calling for all Pennsylvanians in class 1A to be scheduled for vaccinations by March 31, expanded the options for general public vaccine deliveries at central sites, and most recently, updated orders for vaccine providers to work with Area Agencies on Aging and Managed Care Organizations to reach out to senior citizens 65 and older to ensure they can be vaccinated.

While the state has lowered restrictions on some businesses, including event locations and restaurants, Philadelphia and Allegheny County continue to hold back on the same.  While the state’s changes kick in on April 4, Philadelphia will not follow until April 30, and some Allegheny County council members are calling for prioritization of restaurant staff alongside teachers to ensure workers are protected.

Vaccinations Update

There are approximately two million Pennsylvanians 65 and older within the Department of Health’s vaccine distribution jurisdiction. According to the data reported to the department as of March 19, there have been 1,314,782 residents 65 and older who have received the vaccine at this time. A breakdown of that is available below. Of the 2,699,008 total persons who have received vaccine as of March 19, those 65 and older represent nearly 48 percent of Pennsylvania’s vaccine administration.

From Friday to today, there have been an additional 400,377 residents vaccinated. Age demographics update each week..

PA Bottom Lines:

Vaccine Doses Administered: 4,510,213

Number of People Fully Vaccinated: 1,592,201

Total Population: 12,783,254

13.94% of the Pennsylvania population is fully vaccinated.