The latest on COVID-19 in Pa.: 76,436 confirmed cases in 67 counties

(Image via The Pittsburgh Current)

(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.)

Welcome to the Capital-Star’s COVID-19 dashboard, where we’re tracking new COVID-19 cases and testing data based on the latest information from state health officials. 

Our interactive graphics are updated at roughly noon each day with the latest figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

These figures represent a running total of all the COVID-19 cases and tests that have been reported to the Department of Health since March 6, when state officials confirmed the first two cases of the disease in Pennsylvania.

The vast majority of patients who test positive for COVID-19 will recover, and it’s likely that some Pennsylvania patients already have. According to the World Health Organization, recovery can take up to two weeks from the onset of the virus for a patient with mild symptoms, and up to six weeks for patients with severe symptoms.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health is not currently publishing data on recovered patients, even though health officials in other 26 other states and U.S. territories are, data from the COVID Tracking Project show.

Our map and charts may not include cases or fatalities that you’ve seen reported in local media outlets. Local hospitals and health officials report their cases to the state Department of Health, which updates its statewide figures daily. We’re relying on the state data to make sure we’re not over-counting patients or tests.

Health experts say that the number of COVID cases is likely higher than what’s being reported, since testing for the virus is still not widespread.

Testing has expanded since Pennsylvania reported its first COVID-19 cases on March 6. The vast majority of testing data comes from commercial labs and hospitals.

A state-run lab in Exton, Pa. processes more than 100 specimens a day, mostly from medical workers, according to health secretary Rachel Levine. 

As of Monday, April 6, we’re charting the daily case count on a scale that’s adjusted for exponential growth. This will prevent the chart from skewing as the number of cases continues to rise. Read more about our data display here.

State health officials are urging everyone, including people with mild COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and minimize social interactions to slow the spread of the disease.

Stay up-to-date on Pennsylvania’s response to the pandemic by signing up for our daily morning newsletter. You can also read all of our latest coverage at the link below.

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