Lancaster County recorded 90 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, its second highest total this month and well above the 58 daily cases it had been averaging over the past two weeks.
The rising numbers have pushed the county to a new level: Its 14-day per capita rate of new cases is now at 157 per 100,000 population, which is higher than its previous peak rate of 152 in April, though well below the current statewide rate.
Statewide, Pennsylvania reported 2,228 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, pushing the pandemic case total past the 200,000 mark, to 200,674. It was the fifth time in seven days that the daily figure was above 2,000, which it had never reached prior to last week.
The rate of positive tests is now above 5%, which increasingly raises concerns about the level of community spread of the virus, Dr. Rachel Levine, the state's health secretary, said this week.
Levine and other health officials continue to urge mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and other precautions to limit the spread of the virus.
With Wednesday's new figure, the state’s 14-day per capita rate of new cases is at 193 per 100,000 population, which is well above its peak of 164 in April.
Hospitalizations, while still well below their spring levels, also continued to increase.
Across the state, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients increased again Wednesday, and the daily average over two weeks is now at 990, which is more than double the number of a month ago. Lancaster County’s average daily count of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is now 29, up from 24 a week ago and 12 a month ago.
The average number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators in Pennsylvania has nearly doubled in the past month, from 56 to 104, according to the Department of Health. In Lancaster County, an average of only one or two patients have been on ventilators each day for the past month.
Pennsylvania reported 22 new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, raising the October total to 576, up from 469 in September. Lancaster County’s coroner, Dr. Stephen Diamantoni, has reported 15 COVID-19 deaths locally so far in October, up from 13 in September.