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.

Coronavirus deaths have increased in Pennsylvania in October, and some of the state’s smaller counties are now paying a disproportionate price as COVID-19 outbreaks reach areas that were less affected earlier in the pandemic.

Rates vary widely from county to county. But as a group, the 36 Pennsylvania counties with populations under 100,000 have had a per capita death rate two-and-a-half times that of the state’s largest counties in October, according to an LNP | LancasterOnline analysis of Department of Health data reported through Oct. 28.

Take Northumberland County, west of Bloomsburg, which had only three COVID-19 deaths through May. With a population of about 91,000, Northumberland had the state’s third-highest loss of life in October, fueled largely by a nursing-home outbreak. Northumberland's 49 coronavirus deaths from Oct. 1-28 compared with 56 in Philadelphia — a county 17 times more populous.

Northumberland had the state’s highest per capita death rate for the month, at 54 per 100,000, or more than 15 times the rate in Philadelphia, the analysis shows.

Huntingdon and Snyder counties, each with fewer than 50,000 people, each had 11 COVID-19 deaths in October, or more than half of their pandemic totals of 17 each.

Schuylkill County, with 141,000 people, had 36 deaths during the month, giving it the state’s fourth-highest per capita rate in October.

Here’s how the October COVID-19 death rate looks for the three groups of counties. The statewide rate was 4.0 per 100,000 population.

• Over 500,000 population: Seven counties, 5,896,754 total population, 181 deaths, rate of 3.1 per 100,000.

• 100,000 to 500,000 population: 24 counties, 5,258,721 total population, 264 deaths, rate of 5.0 per 100,000

• Under 100,000 population: 36 counties, 1,646,514 total population, 131 deaths, rate of 8.0 per 100,000

Here is a list of all 67 Pennsylvania counties, ranked by the number of COVID-19 deaths they recorded Oct. 1-28, and what that works out to in terms of a per capita rate per 100,000 population.

County

COVID-19

Oct. 1-28 rate per

 

Deaths Oct.1-28

100,000 population

Philadelphia

56

4

Allegheny

50

4

Northumberland

49

54

York

44

10

Westmoreland

37

11

Schuylkill

36

25

Berks

27

6

Bucks

19

3

Beaver

18

11

Montgomery

17

2

Lancaster*

17

3

Dauphin

14

5

Delaware

13

2

Lehigh

12

3

Blair

11

9

Lawrence

11

13

Huntingdon

11

24

Snyder

11

27

Chester

9

2

Bradford

9

15

Luzerne

8

3

Fayette

8

6

Lebanon

7

5

Northampton

6

2

Lycoming

6

5

Mercer

6

5

Columbia

6

9

Montour

6

33

Centre

5

3

Union

5

11

Washington

4

2

Franklin

4

3

Indiana

4

5

Butler

3

2

Armstrong

3

5

Erie

2

1

Cumberland

2

1

Monroe

2

1

Carbon

2

3

Wayne

2

4

Fulton

2

14

Lackawanna

1

0

Adams

1

1

Clearfield

1

1

Pike

1

2

Mifflin

1

2

Jefferson

1

2

Clinton

1

3

Clarion

1

3

Juniata

1

4

Potter

1

6

Forest

1

14

Sullivan

1

16

Cambria

0

0

Crawford

0

0

Somerset

0

0

Venango

0

0

Bedford 

0

0

Perry

0

0

McKean

0

0

Tioga

0

0

Susquehanna

0

0

Warren

0

0

Greene

0

0

Elk

0

0

Wyoming

0

0

Cameron

0

0

PENNSYLVANIA

576

4

*Lancaster County’s coroner, Dr. Stephen Diamantoni, has reported only 15 COVID-19 deaths in Lancaster County in October, while the state counts 17.