On bright side, hospitals are far from overwhelmed
Russ Walker/PA Post
800. 1,054. 1,213. 962. 631. 1,027. 711. 786.
Those are the number of newly confirmed COVID-19 infections in Pennsylvania over the past seven days, starting with the 800 reported yesterday.
The numbers have been trending higher since June 7, when the state Health Department recorded a low of 304 new infections.
As of Sunday, Pennsylvania had recorded over 104,000 confirmed infections and another 3,000 probable cases. The total number of deaths stands at 7,118.
The only good news in the numbers is that while deaths continue to happen, fewer are being recorded now than during May and June. That’s because doctors are getting better at treating cases, and also because a larger number of younger people are becoming infected.
Hospitalizations are going up in Allegheny County and much of the rest of Southwest Pa., the state’s hotspot for these days in terms of new infections. But hospitals in the region are not in any danger of being overwhelmed, at least so far, according to this story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Still, the virus has brought tragedy to so many. In another Post-Gazette story, we meet the Perkins family of South Fayette, who have experienced two COVID-19 deaths and six other infections.
Seventy percent of Pa.’s COVID-19 deaths occurred in long-term-care facilities. Despite efforts to send more resources to nursing homes and other facilities, the people who run them say they aren’t getting enough help. “We have providers, whether it’s nursing homes, personal care homes, or assisted living communities, who have been the frontlines of this pandemic from day one, who have worked day and night to keep the residents safe, to keep their staff safe. And it feels like no matter what they do, they’re not being heard in state government and sometimes in federal government,” Zach Shamberg of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association told WLVR. Nationally, the long-term-care industry says it needs $100 billion to help defray the added costs of caring for and protecting their residents.
Over in Centre County, where case counts ticked up over the weekend, researchers are getting ready for the return of thousands of students to Penn State’s main campus. They plan to study how the influx of students affects everything from virus precautions to business activity. “The project will allow the university to study itself and its wider community, with the hope of gathering information that will help inform decisions during this and future pandemics. As part of it, Penn State plans to begin testing local residents for antibodies to the virus by Aug. 1,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Bottom line: The virus is still circulating in Pennsylvania and across the country. The best thing we can all do to end this mess is WEAR A MASK!
PA Post is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom covering politics and policy in Pennsylvania. For more, go to PaPost.org.