Pa. sees highest COVID-19 increase in months, Gov. Wolf points to possible causes

PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania saw the highest single-day increase of COVID-19 cases since April on Thursday, and Gov. Tom Wolf pointed some possible causes.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 1,376 new cases Thursday, marking three days in a row with over 1,000 cases. Hospitalizations are also up.

However, the state is recording a higher number of tests, which is playing a role. There are also a lot of students back at college.

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“I think that there is concern, generally, that we’re going to see an upsurge as we get into the flu and flu season and colder weather,” Wolf said. “I think part of it is Pennsylvania has a lot of universities and colleges, and they’re back in session, and so some of the hot spots have been, in fact, around the areas where there have been big concentrations of college students.”

Wolf noted the rate of ventilator use statewide is low, as are death rates. He also said Pennsylvania is in a much better position to fight the virus than when the pandemic started.

The uptick in cases comes just as Pennsylvania eases some restrictions, changing how capacity limits are determined for gatherings, such as sporting events.