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Reporting Delay Drives Surge In Pennsylvania Virus Cases

Keith Srakocic
Two bicyclists with protective masks ride on the North Shore Riverfront Park along the Allegheny River while temperatures reach 90 degrees for the eighth straight day, Friday, July 10, 2020, in Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania recorded more than 900 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, though health officials said nearly one-quarter of those were the result of a delay in lab reporting.

Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, reported 331 new virus infections, but only 145 of those were from the past 24 hours, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. County health officials said the remainder were from tests conducted as early as June 8. Health officials said they are working with the lab to determine the reason for the big delay in test results.

Statewide, 216 of the new cases resulted from the delay in private lab result reporting, according to the state Health Department.

The state also reported 20 new deaths related to COVID-19, raising the statewide toll to 6,931 since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 96,000 people in Pennsylvania have contracted the virus.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than the state’s confirmed case count because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

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.