Covid cases continue slow increase as over 40% of Pa. has at least 1 vaccine dose

Chris Pastrick, The Tribune-Review, Greensburg
·4 min read

Apr. 17—For the fifth straight day, Pennsylvania has posted a new daily covid case number above 5,000 — something it has not done since mid-January.

The state's seven-day case average rose to 4,949, with a total of 34,642 cases during that seven-day span.

The last time the state's seven-day case average was over 5,000 was on Feb. 3, which is also the last time its seven-day case total exceeded 35,000.

While cases continue to increase on average, they still are not growing at the same rate as when cases spiked in late November and December.

Cases

Pennsylvania reported 5,114 new covid-19 cases Saturday. Of those, 4,085 were confirmed through PCR testing and 1,029 were listed as probable cases. Health officials define a probable case as one in which a patient has a positive viral antigen test or covid symptoms with a "high-risk exposure" to someone who has been confirmed to have coronavirus.

Allegheny County reported 405 new cases Saturday. Of those, 296 were confirmed and 109 listed as probable. Of these, 296 are confirmed cases and 109 are probable cases. New cases ranged in age from 2 months to 87 years. The median age was 28 years old.

The county's seven-day average jumps to 538 with 3,767 cases in the past week. However, those totals include Wednesday's anomaly of 1,321, where more than 900 backlogged cases — from as far back as January — were reported in one day from GS Lab, with locations on McKnight Road and in Upper St. Clair. It has not yet been explained why the lab delayed sharing its results until now.

The age breakdown of the newly reported cases — 205 female, 200 male — are:

—Ages 0-4: 8

—Ages 5-12: 30

—Ages: 13-18: 42

—Ages 19-24: 88

—Ages 25-49: 162

—Ages 50-64: 55

—Ages 65 and over: 19

Note: The age of one person was unknown; it will be updated when the information comes in.

In Westmoreland County, there were 101 new cases — the second lowest total in the past 12 days. Of those, 47 were confirmed and 54 listed as probable.

Westmoreland's numbers bring its seven-day case average to 143, having recorded 1,002 cases in the past week.

Deaths

Health officials reported 39 new covid-related deaths, bringing the state's total to date to 25,661. Over the past seven days, there have been 259 such deaths in Pennsylvania.

In Allegheny County, health officials reported two new covid-related deaths, bringing the total there to 1,833. The county's seven-day death toll dropped from 23 to 20.

Three new covid-related deaths were added in Westmoreland County, which puts its seven-case total in double digits (11) for the first time since March 23. The death toll to date in Westmoreland County is 723.

Hospitalizations

The latest data on patients hospitalized for covid-19 shows 2,653 Pennsylvanians being cared for in facilities, a decline of three from Friday's total. Over the past week, hospitalization numbers have increased statewide by 212. Of those in hospitals, 555 are in intensive care units and 275 on ventilators.

In Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, the hospital numbers are slightly better news than the state. Both counties have seen declines over several days, with Allegheny seeing a downturn for four straight days and Westmoreland for three straight.

There are 266 Allegheny County residents in hospitals for covid, with 80 of them in ICUs and 34 on ventilators. Allegheny's hospital number has dropped by 33 in the past four days.

In Westmoreland, there are 55 in the hospital, with 11 in an ICU and five on a ventilator. Westmoreland's hospital number has dropped by nine in the past three days.

Vaccinations

To date, just over 41% of the state's population has at least one dose of a covid vaccine. At least 5.2 million people have gotten at least one shot. There have been 24.7% that are fully vaccinated with two shots of either the Pfizer or Modern vaccines or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson (before it was halted). That's a total of at least 3.1 million people. Those numbers include the city of Philadelphia, which records vaccination totals separately from the state. However, the city's totals are as of Friday.

Among Allegheny County residents, 311,581 (25.5%) people have both doses, while 544,435 (44.5%) have at least one dose. When excluding those under 18, the county's total with at least one dose rises to 55%.

In Westmoreland County, 83,580 (22.9%) have both doses, while 134,951 (36.96%) have at least one dose.

Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Chris at 412-320-7898, cpastrick@triblive.com or via Twitter .