Levine: More COVID-19 deaths expected even if new cases slow

    Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health.

    Pennsylvania reported 78 new deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday, a nearly 50 percent increase in fatalities from the pandemic.

    The large increase, state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said during an online briefing, was partially due to delayed reporting over the weekend.

    Levine said she expected deaths to increase even if the illness’s spread plateaus. The increase in deaths is due to symptoms worsening in individuals already diagnosed with the coronavirus, she said.

    The latest on COVID-19 in Pa.: 14,559 confirmed cases in all 67 counties

    Levine added that there was already a significant increase in patient deaths who had other underlying conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

    The department has yet to release specific data on the age of those who have died. But Levine said that most deaths are among the elderly.

    As of Tuesday, the Department of Health has confirmed 14,559 total cases of COVID-19 in all 67 counties. 240 people have died in 26 counties due to the pandemic.