The pace of new coronavirus infections has doubled in Pennsylvania in the past two weeks, and some of the hottest spots continue to be rural counties west of Lancaster, according to an LNP | LancasterOnline analysis of state health department data.
Mifflin, Cambria and Juniata counties had the state’s highest per-capita rates of new cases in the past week. Their rates were two to three times Pennsylvania’s statewide rate of 350 new cases per 100,000 people.
Mifflin’s per-capita rate for Nov. 17-23 was 1,004, which means that one in every 100 people in Mifflin County was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past week.
Cambria’s rate was 843 and Juniata’s was 840.
Lancaster County ranked 33rd among the state’s 67 counties, with a rate of 363 new cases per 100,000 people. That was up from 272 the previous week and was slightly higher than the statewide rate of 350.
Among the five counties bordering Lancaster, only Lebanon had a higher rate than Lancaster. Lebanon ranked 12th in the state, at 461 cases per 100,000 people. York was 39th, at 343; Dauphin was 45th, at 330; Berks was 48th, at 290; and Chester was 58th, at 226.
The new numbers continue a trend in which some of the state’s smaller, rural counties have higher per-capita rates of infections than larger, more urban counties that were hit harder earlier in the pandemic.
All but five of the state's counties saw increases in their rates of new cases in the past week.
Here are the 10 Pennsylvania counties with the highest per-capita rates of new coronavirus cases for the seven-day period of Nov. 17-23, and how those rates compare with the previous seven days of Nov. 10-16. Rates are new cases per 100,000 population:
1) Mifflin: 1,004 (up from 551)
2) Cambria: 843 (up from 482)
3) Juniata: 840 (up from 420)
4) Somerset: 734 (up from 457)
5) Union: 710 (up from 381)
6) Blair: 692 (up from 529)
7) Tioga: 586 (up from 488)
8) Bedford: 570 (down from 599)
9) Clarion: 554 (up from 482)
10) Crawford: 486 (up from 421)
And here are the other 57 Pennsylvania counties, ranked by their rates of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, for Nov. 17-23: