A new online tracking tool from the state Department of Health shows a rising incidence rate, newly reported cases and COVID-19-specific hospitalizations in Cumberland County.
The Department of Health on Tuesday launched its online early warning monitoring dashboard, which provides information on the state and by county, tracking the last seven days of data and comparing it to the previous seven days.
The dashboard tracks the difference in confirmed cases, the incidence rate per 100,000 residents, percent positive tests, difference in the average number of COVID-19-specific hospitalizations, difference in the average daily number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators and percent of hospital emergency department visits due to a COVID-like illness.
“Recent increases in COVID-19 cases in parts of the state have shown the need for Pennsylvanians to continue to take simple steps to prevent the spread of this virus,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said in a news release.
Compared to the state’s data, Cumberland County is seeing increases in a few more categories.
Though the state overall saw decreases from week to week in daily hospitalizations and ventilator use, as well as stable numbers in percent positive tests and ED visits, Cumberland County saw increasing numbers in most of the categories, save for a decrease in the number of patients on ventilators and a stable percent positive rate at 3.1%.
According to the dashboard, Cumberland County saw an increase from 0.9% to 1.4% in the percentage of people visiting emergency departments due to a COVID-like illness. Even compared to Dauphin and York counties, which are seeing far higher numbers of new cases, the county is one of the few to see an increase in emergency department visits.
The county’s incidence rate also increased from 20.3 per 100,000 residents last week to 21.1 in the last seven days, and along those lines, the newly reported confirmed cases also rose from 51 the previous week to 53 this past week.
Though it’s an increase, the number of cases and percent positive tests still pale in comparison to the numbers Dauphin and York counties are seeing. While Cumberland County only saw five new cases of COVID-19 in Tuesday’s report from the state Department of Health, Dauphin County saw a major spike of 74 new cases, while York County saw 29 new cases.
Though Cumberland County doesn’t have as many tests as the other two counties, Dauphin County’s percent positive rate is at 7.7% and York County’s is at 5.8%, compared to Cumberland County’s steady 3.1%.
The dashboard reported a decrease in the average number of daily patients on ventilators and percentage of ED visits for Dauphin County, but Dauphin also saw an increase in its percent positive rate (it was at 6.9%), as well as an increase in incidence rate to 55.6 cases per 100,000 residents and newly reported cases, which rose from 146 cases to 154 cases between the two weeks.
Though York County’s numbers are higher, the county is doing better than it had been the previous week, seeing a decrease in the number of newly confirmed cases, incidence rate, percent positive tests, patients on ventilators and percentage of ED visits. It only saw an increase in average of daily specific hospitalizations, which rose from 44 to 48.
The dashboard can be viewed on the department’s website at www.health.pa.gov.
Email Naomi Creason at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @SentinelCreason