In what may be the harbinger of another coronavirus surge, the state on Friday recorded more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time in three weeks.
That pushed the Pennsylvania total above 700,000 confirmed cases, the Department of Health reported.
Somerset and Cambria counties combined for 279 new COVID-19 cases and 11 additional deaths among 10,178 cases and 215 deaths statewide.
Pennsylvania’s totals reached 703,265 cases and 17,394 deaths attributed to COVID-19.
Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said experts believe the uptick could mark the beginning of a post-holiday surge.
“We think this is an increase from the holidays,” Levine said. “We are seeing the beginning of an increase in the number of new cases because of travel that people did over Christmas and, eventually, New Year's, and also the potentially large or small gatherings that they attended.”
Cases are up across the country, she said.
Although COVID-19 hospitalizations were down again Friday, Levine said a surge in cases is often followed by an increase in hospitalizations.
Cambria County had 118 new cases and six deaths and Somerset had 161 cases and five deaths in Friday’s report – bringing Cambria’s totals to 9,460 cases and 277 deaths and Somerset’s totals to 5,436 cases and 103 deaths since the pandemic hit the state in March.
• Bedford County added 43 cases and no deaths to reach 3,172 cases with 99 deaths.
• Blair County added 104 cases and two deaths to reach 8,621 cases and 187 deaths.
• Indiana County added 44 cases with no deaths to reach 4,286 cases and 130 deaths.
• Clearfield County added 89 cases with no deaths to reach 4,648 cases and 55 deaths.
• Centre County added 96 cases and two deaths to reach 9,538 cases and 150 deaths.
• Westmoreland County added 346 cases and seven deaths to reach 21,349 cases and 472 deaths.