Pennsylvania reported 473 new COVID-19 infections and 15 new deaths on Monday, continuing a recent downward trend in cases.
The numbers come as Pennsylvania has entered the period where an upturn in cases triggered by Pennsylvania’s gradual reopening might begin to show.
State Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine on Monday urged state residents to continue with social distancing and steps which state officials believe have slowed spread of the disease and prevented hospitals from being overwhelmed.
“As counties move from red to yellow, we need all Pennsylvanians to continue to follow the social distancing and mitigation efforts in place,” she said. “We must continue to protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, which includes our seniors, those with underlying health issues, our healthcare workers and our first responders. I am proud of the work that Pennsylvanians have done so far, but we cannot stop now, we must continue to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from COVID-19.”
Monday marks the 17th day since 24 Pennsylvania counties moved into the “yellow” phase of reduced restrictions. Experts said it would take about two weeks for an upturn to show, since it can take that long for someone to develop symptoms and their test result to get reported to the state. However, there could be an additional lag because of some labs not reporting results over the weekend and on Memorial Day.
Thirteen more Pennsylvania counties went to yellow on May 22, including Cumberland, Perry and York.
Eight more are expected to move to yellow on Friday, including Dauphin, Lebanon and Franklin.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania had plenty of hospital beds and ventilators available as of noon on Saturday. According to the health department, about 38% percent of intensive care beds were available, along with 45% of the total supply of hospital beds.
More than two-thirds of breathing ventilators were available.
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