Following a country-wide trend, Pennsylvania is again recording a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, report Madeleine Ngo, Danielle Ivory, Lauren Leatherby and Robert Gebeloff for The New York Times.
Numbers are spiking for a variety of reasons. Causes include increased travel and easing of restrictions, as well as the spread of more contagious variants of the virus. Currently, Pennsylvania is reporting 4,922 cases a day on average, compared with roughly 2,515 a month ago. This it near the top of the list of the highest per capita daily case counts across the country.
Hospitalization numbers have also climbed, up by around 16 percent in the past two weeks. Sadly, deaths are also up, now averaging 37 a day.
State and national officials worry especially about the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant. It is approximately 60 percent more contagious and 67 percent more deadly than the virus’s original version.
Despite all these developments, Pennsylvania still has no plans to impose new lockdowns.
Alison Beam, the state’s acting health secretary, said, “At this stage, our hospitals have not indicated to us that they are overrun or that they foresee being overrun. That will be truly one of our key gauges of when any further mitigation effort would need to be even contemplated.”
She urged Pennsylvanians to continue wearing masks, social distancing and getting vaccinated.
Read more about the surge in cases in The New York Times.