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

While the debate on when to reopen Pennsylvania heats up, the coronavirus death toll continues to grow in Lancaster County and across the state.

Pennsylvania reported 368 new deaths in the past two days, and Lancaster County has reported 63 of its total 103 deaths in the past nine days. The county's previous 40 deaths occurred over 16 days.

Locally, a surge in deaths over the past week was fueled by a rising number of fatal cases in Lancaster Township. The small suburban community just outside Lancaster city now accounts for 55 of the county’s 103 coronavirus deaths, according to the county's coroner and data on the county's online coronavirus dashboard.

Dr. Stephen Diamantoni, the county’s coroner, confirmed late Friday that there had been about 16 deaths at Conestoga View Nursing and Rehabilitation, at 900 E. King St., which is one of several senior facilities in Lancaster Township.

He reported Monday afternoon that the toll at Conestoga View had risen to 24, and that two other nursing facilities in the township — Hamilton Arms Center at 336 S. West End Ave. and ManorCare Health Services at 100 Abbeyville Road — have had 16 deaths and 15 deaths, respectively.

In emailed statements, all three of the homes expressed sympathies to the families of the victims and said they’re following guidance and making strenuous efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

Conestoga View declined to say how many cases or deaths its record shows.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Feifer said Hamilton Arms has had 40 cases among residents and 24 in staff members, and 20 residents have passed away. “This is a complex virus that is hard to detect, people can be asymptomatic but positive, and the virus can take weeks to present itself,” he wrote.

ManorCare spokeswoman Julie Beckert wrote that its records show nine deaths, and “Many of our patients have multiple health issues, so we cannot confirm that the deaths were entirely COVID-19 related.”

The coroner's figures raised the death toll to 55 in Lancaster Township, population 17,373, giving it a per capita rate of 316 deaths per 100,000 residents. That compares with a rate of 19 deaths per 100,000 for Lancaster County as a whole, and 9 per 100,000 for Pennsylvania.

After Lancaster Township, the largest number of local deaths has been in Manheim Township, the county's most populous suburb, where 21 people have died. At least 14 of them were residents of nursing homes or retirement facilities that publicly disclosed the deaths.

Statewide, the largest single-day number of deaths reported before Sunday had been the 80 reported the day before. On Sunday, the state Department of Health reported 276 deaths, and on Monday it reported 92 more, for a three-day total of 448.

Sunday's unprecedented total was due to a reporting backlog caused by a delay in reconciling data, said Dr. Rachel Levine, the state’s health secretary. The state's death toll now stands at 1,112 since the first death was reported a month ago.

“We have been working to reconcile our data with information from several different sources, including our NEDSS (National Electronic Disease Surveillance System) reporting system and our county and municipal health departments,” Levine said Sunday.

“This is the cause of the increase in deaths we are reporting today. This work takes time and so the increase in deaths today reflects the culmination of that effort, which will continue moving forward. The majority of these deaths did not occur over night."

The state's death toll for Lancaster County has consistently lagged behind Diamantoni's county. As of Monday, the state was reporting 66 deaths in Lancaster County, or two-thirds of the 98 reported so far by the coroner.

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