The Pennsylvania Department of Health has started releasing ZIP code-level information about cases of the novel coronavirus.
State health officials published an interactive map on Monday that shows the number of confirmed cases of the new virus and the number of negative virus tests. The map is searchable by county and ZIP code. The county data also shows the number of COVID-19 deaths.
Health Secretary Rachel Levine said even residents in communities with a relatively low number of confirmed cases should continue to heed social distancing rules, noting a lack of widespread testing means the actual number of people with the virus is far higher than what shows up in the statistics.
The virus has been spreading faster in recent days in less populated counties like Columbia, Northumberland, Juniata and Susquehanna.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said the state has made sufficient progress in its fight against the virus to begin gradually reopening some businesses in early May. Republicans are pushing a more aggressive timetable.
Other coronavirus-related developments in Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 death toll rose by 360 to 1,564, the state health department reported Tuesday, with nearly 1,300 additional people testing positive for the virus.
Not all of the deaths happened in one 24-hour period. The health department has been revising its numbers upward because it is now counting probable deaths, or deaths in which a coroner or medical examiner listed COVID-19 as the cause or contributing cause but the deceased were not tested for the virus.
Officials have said the updated numbers are part of the department’s efforts to reconcile data provided by hospitals, health care systems, county and municipal health departments and long-term care living facilities with the department’s own records of births and deaths.
Statewide, more than 34,500 people have tested positive, according to the latest health department statistics.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.