St. Luke's emergency room on Apr. 28, 2019. Many put off routine medical care in the early months of the pandemic, leading to a backlog that could have ramifications long into the future. (Becca Bednarz/B&W Staff)

Pennsylvania sees highest single-day COVID-19 case count


Pennsylvania has set a state record for the number of COVID-19 cases recorded in a single day when the Department of Health announced 2,751 cases on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s numbers shattered the previous COVID-19 daily case record in the state, which was just set Friday. That day saw 2,219 positive cases — meaning the latest record surpassed Friday’s case totals by more than 500 cases.

Pennsylvania has seen a resurgence in COVID-19 cases since numbers dipped after peaking in April. The state has recorded at least 1,000 COVID-19 cases per day in all but three days in October.

The 14-day moving average for the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has gone up in just one week from 770 on Oct. 20 to 959 as of Tuesday. The seven-day moving average of daily COVID-19 cases has gone up from 1,461 cases on Oct. 20 to 1,939 cases on Tuesday.

The state’s positivity rate is now at five percent compared to 4.2 percent last week, Gov. Tom Wolf said. Testing per week has also increased on average since the pandemic began in March.

The Lehigh Valley is remaining fairly stable. Northampton County reported 37 new cases and Lehigh County reported 45. But 834 cases were reported in Philadelphia — its largest case count by far. The city’s previous high was 573 cases on April 9.

The Wolf administration has said a surge in cases among younger Pennsylvanians is one factor in rising case numbers. A Department of Health spokeswoman told The Brown and White that while six percent of cases in Northeastern Pennsylvania were between the ages of 19 and 24 in April, that age group now makes up 20 percent of cases in the region.

Lehigh University had an outbreak of its own in late September and early October. While the numbers have since declined drastically, thanks in part to increased testing by the university and lockdown measures put in place, Lehigh’s outbreak contributed a significant portion of the cases reported in Northampton County over those few weeks.

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