As Cambria, Somerset and 11 other counties began partial reopening Friday, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said the state continues to see fewer COVID-19 cases.
“Across the state, the rate of infection has been decreasing over the last 14 days,” Levine said during the daily virtual press briefing. “That is good news for Pennsylvania.”
Four new COVID-19 cases are confirmed in Cambria County, and the state's total now tops 60,000 positive cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported Friday.
The Cambria County cases are among 986 added on Friday, bringing the state total to 60,622.
Another 124 COVID-19 deaths were added Friday, pushing the state total to 4,342.
“Of the 124 new deaths, 89 were a result of reconciliation over the last several weeks; 35 of the deaths were ones reported to the department within the last few days,” the department press release said.
There are now 49 confirmed cases and one death in Cambria County, 32 cases and one death in Somerset County, 30 cases and one death in Bedford County and 32 cases with no deaths in Blair County.
For the second time, a positive case in a Blair County nursing or personal care home has been removed from the public data. On May 7 and on Thursday, the reports listed one case in a Blair County long-term care living facility. Friday's data do not include Blair County in the nursing home section.
On Thursday, a health department spokesman said the state reviews all reported cases and occasionally determines cases are misidentified.
The decline in new cases, however, does not mean the pandemic has passed, Levine stressed.
“While we are in decline, now is not the time to stop our efforts,” she said. “These efforts will help us to prepare for a resurgence of the virus and keep Pennsylvania moving in the right direction.”
In the 24 counties that moved from the red phase to yellow last week, Levine said the health department's monitoring and response efforts are showing results.
“We are altogether successfully managing testing, contact tracing, case investigation and outbreak responses,” she said.
Since April 30, there have been nearly 120,000 people tested for coronavirus infections, Levine said.