Lancaster County’s COVID-19 indicators remain high heading into Thanksgiving as the number of new cases rose for the second straight week to nearly 1,500 from Nov. 14 through Nov. 20 and hospitalizations remain above 100, according to data from the state Department of Health.
The county’s seven-day case average was at 230 new COVID-19 cases a day as of Nov. 22 after having dipped under 200 from late October through mid-November. The average peaked this fall at 258 cases a day on Oct. 8.
There are 111 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Nov. 23, up from 92 on Nov. 16. Of the 63 COVID-19 patients at Lancaster General, the county’s largest hospital, about 84% are unvaccinated, according to hospital data.
Twenty-two hospitalized patients in the county are on ventilators, the most since December 2020. All 16 of LGH’s COVID-19 patients on ventilators are unvaccinated.
The number of COVID-19 deaths in the county has dropped, at least temporarily, despite the increase in hospitalizations. Eight people died last week, down from 16 the week before, according to data from the county coroner’s office.
November already has the highest number of new partial vaccinations against COVID-19 since May after the county added more than 3,800 last week. A total of 11,551 people in the county have received their first shots this month following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s approval of the vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.
The pace of new full vaccinations continues to slow, with 1,071 people in the county completing their vaccine series last week. That number should rise as the increased number of people receiving their first doses return for their second shots of vaccines.
About 60% of eligible Lancaster County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 55% are fully vaccinated as of Nov. 19, according to the state Department of Health.
The number of people receiving COVID-19 boosters decreased slightly but remained above 9,330 last week, bringing the total number of residents with additional doses up to 56,031.
The CDC advises people to wear masks in public indoor settings, avoid crowded spaces and get vaccinated before the holidays.