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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.

It’s been a deadly two months in Lancaster County, with COVID-19 claiming another 354 lives, or nearly six per day, and pushing the pandemic’s total above 870.

But Lancaster, it turns out, has been hit less hard — proportionately — than many other Pennsylvania counties as the coronavirus pandemic’s latest surge has pounded the state and taken its most intense tolls in more lightly populated areas.

From Dec. 1 to Feb. 2, Lancaster County’s per-capita COVID-19 death rate of 65 per 100,000 ranked it 55th among the state’s 67 counties and placed it well below the state average of 89 per 100,000, an LNP | LancasterOnline analysis of state and local data for the period shows.

In the state’s hardest-hit counties, the per capita rates were three to four times higher than Lancaster’s since Dec. 1. The highest rates were 254 per 100,000 in Juniata County and 249 in Mifflin County, both in Central Pennsylvania, and 232 in Warren County, in the northwest.

The 354 Lancaster County deaths from Dec. 1 to Feb. 2 represent about 41% of the county’s total COVID-19 loss of life since March. Statewide, 52% of the pandemic’s deaths have occurred during the recent two-month period, and in 19 counties, the figure was above 80%.

Compared to Lancaster, only 10 counties — including Philadelphia and its suburbs, which were among the hardest-hit counties in the pandemic's initial wave last spring — saw smaller percentages of their total deaths since Dec. 1. And those counties also had some of the state’s lowest per-capita deaths rates over the past two months.

In the eight counties hit hardest, proportionately, since Dec. 1, the vast majority of pandemic deaths have been recent.

In those counties — Juniata Mifflin, Warren, Cambria, Forest, Somerset, Montour and Bedford — the death counts since Dec. 1 have have equaled 71% to 99% of their pandemic totals.

And they are not alone.

In Clarion County, for example, in the state’s northwest, 64 of the county’s 74 COVID-19 deaths occurred since Dec. 1. Among its regional neighbors, the figures were 69 of 75 in Jefferson County; 54 of 58 in McKean; and 90 of 91 in Warren.

In Bedford, in the southwest, 95 of 122 total COVID-19 deaths occurred since Dec 1. And in Juniata, it was 63 of 77.

Below is a list of all 67 Pennsylvania Counties, ranked by their per-capita death rates per 100,000 population. The list also shows each county's actual number of COVID-19 deaths during that period.

Lancaster County's death figure is from data reported by the county's coroner, Dr. Stephen Diamantoni. Figures for the other counties are from the state Department of Health, which counts 399 deaths for Lancaster County during the period. The state's figure would rank Lancaster slightly higher on this list, at 73 deaths per 100,000.

County

COVID-19 deaths

Dec. 1 to Feb 2

COVID-19 deaths per

100,000 population

Dec. 1 to Feb. 2

   

Juniata

63

254

Mifflin

115

249

Warren

91

232

Cambria

302

232

Forest

16

221

Somerset

160

218

Montour

37

203

Bedford 

95

198

Northumberland

163

179

Clarion

64

167

Fayette

214

166

Tioga

67

165

Sullivan

10

165

Mercer

174

159

Jefferson

69

159

Cameron

7

157

Blair

191

157

Lycoming

172

152

Perry

63

136

Venango

68

134

Butler

250

133

McKean

54

133

Huntingdon

60

133

Crawford

111

131

Indiana

109

130

Union

57

127

Cumberland

304

120

Franklin

185

119

Snyder

48

119

Lawrence

101

118

Westmoreland

406

116

Schuylkill

163

115

Carbon

73

114

Clearfield

89

112

Luzerne

353

111

Armstrong

71

110

Clinton

41

106

Erie

284

105

Beaver

167

102

Columbia

66

102

Adams

95

92

Potter

15

91

Elk

27

90

York

390

87

Centre

136

84

Allegheny

1,018

84

Berks

350

83

Lehigh

305

83

Dauphin

227

82

Lebanon

113

80

Northampton

237

78

Washington

157

76

Wayne

36

70

Greene

25

69

Lancaster

354

65

Lackawanna

129

62

Delaware

337

59

Monroe

97

57

Philadelphia

878

55

Bucks

345

55

Bradford

33

55

Montgomery

453

55

Chester

261

50

Wyoming

12

45

Susquehanna

17

42

Fulton

6

41

Pike

18

32

PENNSYLVANIA

11,199

87

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