COVID-19 in Pennsylvania: Tracking the outbreak with maps and graphs

 (Editor’s Note: Because of a change in the way the Dept. of Health reports data, the Capital-Star has stopped updating this data, effective 6/10/20. We will continue to report on events regarding the COVID-19 pandemic as they unfold.)

The staff at the Capital-Star is working round-the-clock to keep you updated on the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania. Our continually updated graphics use state Department of Health data to show you the latest in testing data, total case counts, and the geographic spread of the virus.

First, our county-level map shows how many cases have been confirmed in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. We’re currently updating this at least once a day with information from the Department of Health’s noon-time press releases.

This map only uses data from the state Department of Health, so it may not include new cases that you’ve seen reported in local media outlets. Local hospitals and health officials report their cases to the state, and we’re relying on state data to make sure we’re not over-counting patients.

We’re also charting out known cases in a daily line graph, where we’re keeping track of key public health interventions taken by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration.

This chart relies on the same Department of Health data that we use to populate our map, and is updated at roughly 12 p.m. each day.

One reason that the number of COVID cases is growing is because testing has expanded. State health secretary Rachel Levine said on Tuesday, March 17 that commercial labs are now processing the majority of COVID tests for patients in Pennsylvania.

The Department of Health started releasing testing data on Wednesday, March 11, and now provides a daily update of the number of tests results they’ve collected from hospitals, commercial labs and the state lab in Exton, Pa.

We made this chart to show how broader testing has revealed more known cases of the COVID virus.