PA sees most virus cases in 6 months amid testing increase

PA sees most virus cases in 6 months amid testing increase
FILE - This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP) (Uncredited)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania reported its highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections in six months Saturday amid increased testing.

The Department of Health said Saturday that another 1,742 people tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, the highest case count since the 1,751 recorded April 10. As of Oct. 9, the 7-day average of daily tests was 14,688, compared with a 7-day average of 7,242 tests as of April 10, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

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Saturday’s total brings the statewide total to 171,050, officials said. Another 36 deaths were reported, bringing the total number of deaths in the commonwealth since the pandemic began to 8,344. Of those deaths, 5,551 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, officials said.

On Thursday, Gov. Tom Wolf said he was “very concerned” about the rising numbers but added that the state was in a much better position to handle the virus than it was at the outset of the pandemic. Health officials have cited increased spread among college and university students.

More than half of U.S. states now on Pennsylvania’s travel advisory list