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Coronavirus in Pa.: 828 new cases reported Aug. 11, more than 120,000 overall

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 828 new coronavirus cases Tuesday as more than 120,000 residents of the Keystone State have now been infected.

The new report pushes the statewide total to 120,281 cases.

So far, cases have dipped in August after a steady uptick in new infections in late June and July. The state has reported 753 new cases, on average, over the last seven days, down from about 800 new cases per day over the previous week.

The state hasn’t reported more than 1,000 new cases in a single day since July 28. Health officials remain concerned about the number of cases among young adults, particularly those 19 to 24 years old.

Across Pennsylvania, 7,352 deaths have been tied to COVID-19, including 35 newly reported fatalities Tuesday. More than two-thirds of the state’s coronavirus deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.

Gov. Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine continue to stress the importance of wearing masks and social distancing. They’ve argued it is necessary to help ensure schools can open later this month.

“You are stopping the spread when you wear a mask,” Levine said at a news conference Tuesday. “You are stopping the spread when you avoid large public gatherings.”

Expanding testing

The state has administered 151,455 COVID-19 tests between Aug. 4-10. There were 21,755 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m. Monday. Over the last seven days, the state has recorded an average of 21,636 tests per day.

The governor has hailed the state’s improved testing capacity but says it must continue to get better. Wolf also noted that tests in some cases are taking as much as two weeks to turn around, which he has called unacceptable.

On Tuesday, the Wolf administration announced that OraSure Technologies Inc., a medical device company which makes diagnostic tests, will expand its manufacturing operations in the Lehigh Valley as it aims to develop coronavirus tests. The expansion will create 177 new, full-time jobs and retain 233 jobs. 

Wolf and Levine, who held a news conference Tuesday to announce the OraSure expansion, hailed it as an important step to help expand access to testing for COVID-19.

“One of the keys to stopping the spread of COVID-19 is access to testing,” Levine said.

So far, 1,255,313 patients have tested negative for the virus, according to the health department.

A closer look

State data show the trend of new COVID-19 cases since the beginning of July.

July 1-7: 4,693 new cases, an average of 670 per day

July 8-14: 5,372 new cases, an average of 767 per day

July 15-21: 6,094 new cases, an average of 870 per day

July 22-28: 6,619 new cases, an average of 945 per day

July 29-Aug. 4: 5,625 new cases, an average of 803 per day

Aug. 5-11: 5,272 new cases, an average of 753 per day

Across the state, 4,983 coronavirus deaths have occurred in nursing homes or personal care homes, according to the health department.

There are 20,086 residents in long-term care facilities who have contracted COVID-19, along with 4,166 employees, the department said. A total of 24,252 people in those facilities have been infected.

Cases have been found at 883 long-term care facilities in 61 counties.

Statewide, 77 percent of those who have been infected with the coronavirus have recovered, according to the health department. The department considers patients to be recovered when they are 30 days past the point of infection or the onset of symptoms.

Schools continue to develop plans to reopen later this month. Some schools, including Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, plan to begin the year with remote learning.

Many school districts are planning a hybrid approach, with some days of in-person instruction and online education on other days.

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