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PA COVID-19 Hospitalizations Jump As Fall Resurgence Ramps Up

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Kimberly Paynter
/
WHYY
Pa. Health Secretary Rachel Levine encourages Pennsylvanians to download the COVID AlertPA, which notifies users when they’ve been in contact with the virus, during a press event on Sept. 22, 2020.";

More than 1,100 patients in Pennsylvania are hospitalized with the coronavirus, up from 841 last week.

The state is in the midst of a spike in COVID-19 infections. Last Friday was the state’s highest one-day case load ever reported at 2,219.

The commonwealth’s positivity rate is now at 5 percent, a marker that indicates rapid spread of coronavirus infections.

The state Health Department reported 3,073 new infections over the last two days.

More than 3,000 people were hospitalized during the peak of the virus last spring in Pennsylvania.

State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said she’s concerned about the increase, and notes the numbers are expected to continue to rise.

“Its really all segments of the population that are increasing and in all regions of Pennsylvania. That’s what we are seeing with the fall resurgence,” she said.

Thirteen of the state’s 67 counties have positivity rates over 5 percent, including Perry, York, Philadelphia, Huntingdon and Bedford counties.

Levine said therapeutics like remdesivir and Ddexamethasone, as well as more effective use of ventilators, have improved hospital treatments.

“Despite what has been reported in the last day or so, we can control COVID-19. We need to use all the public health strategies in our toolbox,” she said referring to a comment over the week from President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Levine is encouraging Pennsylvanians to download the state’s free coronavirus mitigation app to help with contact tracing.

Read more from our partners, WITF.