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Coronavirus in Pa.: 693 new cases reported Aug. 21, 127,633 overall

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 693 new coronavirus cases Friday, continuing the trend of declining cases over the past month.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania has risen to 127,633, the department said.

Across Pennsylvania, 7,558 deaths have been tied to the virus, including 20 newly reported fatalities Friday. More than two-thirds of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.

The number of new cases has dipped in August after climbing steadily in late June and July. The state hasn’t reported 1,000 new cases in a single day since July 28. The state regularly reported more than 1,000 cases a day during the peak of the virus and the state topped that mark several times in July.

There were 24,058 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m. Thursday. Between Aug. 14-20, the state administered 159,049 coronavirus tests. Statewide, about 4 percent of those tested have been positive in recent weeks, the Wolf administration has said.

Gov. Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine have urged Pennsylvanians to continue social distancing and wearing masks to curb the spread of the virus. They are saying it’s especially important to allow kids the chance to attend school.

With the school year starting over the next few weeks, some school districts, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, are starting the year remotely. Other schools are opting for face-to-face instruction or a mixture of in-person classes and remote learning. Some universities, including the University of Pittsburgh and Drexel, this week decided to begin the year online, just days before classes were to begin.

Hospitals and nursing homes

Fewer people with the virus are requiring hospital treatment. The state reports 548 COVID-19 patients are being treated in hospitals. For perspective, about 2,800 coronavirus patients were hospitalized at the peak in the spring.

Most of those who are infected suffer relatively mild symptoms and can recover without going to a hospital. The coronavirus poses more serious risks for seniors and those with underlying health issues, and younger adults can contract COVID-19. The health department has seen an uptick in cases among young adults, particularly those between 19 and 24 years old.

The state reports 80% of those who have been infected with the coronavirus have recovered. The department said patients are considered to have recovered when they are 30 days beyond the point of infection or the development of symptoms.

Statewide, 5121 coronavirus deaths have occurred in nursing homes and personal care homes, according to the health department.

There are 20,594 residents in long-term care facilities who have contracted COVID-19, along with 4,336 employees. A total of 24,930 have been infected in those facilities.

Coronavirus cases have been identified in 910 facilities in 61 counties.

Trend of recent weeks

Here’s a look at the number of new coronavirus cases over the last several weeks.

July 4-10: 5,135 new cases, an average of 733 per day

July 11-17: 5,602 new cases, an average of 800 per day

July 18-24: 6,093 new cases, an average of 870 per day

July 25-31: 6,477 new cases, an average of 925 per day

Aug. 1-7: 5,231 new cases, an average of 747 per day

Aug. 8-14: 5,671 new cases, an average of 810 per day

Aug. 15-21: 4,693 new cases, an average of 669 per day

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