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1 in 42 Lancaster County residents has been tested for coronavirus

coronavirus covid-19 illustration file photo cdc dark background

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals the structure of the novel coronavirus. The illness caused by this virus has been named COVID-19.

Local officials put a big emphasis on testing when they decided to ignore Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order and partially reopen Lancaster County’s economy Friday.

Plans for ramped up testing and new contact tracing efforts will allow many businesses to cautiously resume operations without undue risk for a sharp spike in new coronavirus cases, they said.

But so far, Lancaster County has been no outlier when it comes to testing its population for coronavirus. It’s actually been pretty average, an LNP | LancasterOnline analysis of state Health Department data for all 67 counties shows.

As of Thursday, the county had tested 2.40% of its population, which is nearly identical to the statewide average of 2.43%. Lancaster ranks 18th among counties and middle-of-the-pack among the counties it borders.

Looked at another way, about 1 in every 42 people here have been tested for the virus.

The state's highest testing rate is in tiny Montour County, home of Geisinger Medical Center, where the number of tests is equal to 16.64% of its population. Northampton is next at 3.75%, followed by Pike at 3.66%, Lehigh at 3.60% and Philadelphia at 3.46%.


Testing rates in Central Pennsylvania

Here's the portion of the population tested so far in Lancaster and its bordering counties, and where each ranks among the state’s 67 counties:

Lebanon – 3.02% (9th)

Dauphin – 2.73% (12th)

Berks – 2.72% (13th)

Lancaster – 2.40% (18th)

York – 2.28% (19th)

Chester – 1.85% (28th)


Rate of positive tests

Of people tested so far in Lancaster County, 18.1% have been positive for coronavirus. That is slightly below the statewide average of 19.2%. The county ranks 17th in percentage of positive cases.

The state’s highest rate of positive cases is in Berks County, at 30.83%, followed by Delaware at 28.70%, Juniata at 28.48%, Philadelphia at 28.47% and Huntingdon at 26.77%.

Here is the percentage of tests that have been positive in Lancaster and its bordering counties, and where that ranks them among the state’s 67 counties:

Berks – 30.83% (1st)

Chester – 20.63% (14th)

Lebanon – 19.97% (15th)

Lancaster – 18.05% (17th)

Dauphin – 11.79% (27th

York – 7.99% (35th)


Cases per 100,000

Lancaster County’s 2,364 coronavirus cases and 545,724 population gives it a rate of 433 cases per 100,000 people. That’s slightly below the statewide average rate of 466 cases per 100,000. It ranks Lancaster 15th among the state’s 67 counties.

The state’s highest per-capita case rate is in Philadelphia, at 986 per 100,000, followed by Delaware at 927, Lehigh at 915, Northampton at 841 and Berks at 838.

Here’s the case rate per 100,000 for Lancaster and its bordering counties, and where that ranks them among the state’s 67 counties:

Berks – 838 (5th)

Lebanon – 604 (11th)

Lancaster – 433 (15th)

Chester – 382 (16th)

Dauphin – 322 (20th)

York – 182 (29th)