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Pennsylvania Department of Health adds more than 17,000 COVID-19 reinfection cases to state count

Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said the state is leaning on community-based organizations to reach more people of color.
Commonwealth Media Services
Under Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam, the Pennsylvania Department of Health added COVID-19 reinfections to its statewide data over the weekend.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has added COVID-19 reinfections to its statewide data over the weekend, which meant big jumps in case numbers across the commonwealth.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its definition of COVID-19 cases nationwide in 2021, which took effect in Pennsylvania this month, according to the Department of Health.

Under the new definition, someone who tests positive more than once at least 90 days apart would be considered a reinfection and counted more than once. Previously, that would count as one case.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health said last week it started adding the reinfection case numbers first in Philadelphia then for the other 66 counties.

More than 17,000 reinfection cases — 1,667 in Philadelphia and 15,414 in the other 66 counties — throughout the course of the pandemic have now been included in the statewide cumulative count.

After weeks of double-digit increases in infections in central Pennsylvania counties, the added reinfections help explain the weekend’s larger jumps.

The statewide total is now more than 1.6 million cases.