Coronavirus

Cambria County’s COVID-19 cases topped 800 with 18 new ones Thursday, as the state added more than 1,500 for only the second time since April, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported.

There were 1,598 additional positive cases and 21 new deaths statewide, including Westmoreland County’s 65th. That brings Pennsylvania’s totals to 177,520 cases and 8,432 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Westmoreland County added 148 new cases, continuing a surge that includes more than 200 new cases among long-term care home residents and employees since Oct. 1, the health department report shows.

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine on Thursday provided an update on the state nursing home inspection program to help reduce infections during the pandemic.

“We know that congregate care settings, including nursing homes, have been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Levine said.

“That is why we remain committed to protecting the health and well-being of our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians by continuing to hold nursing home operators accountable, as necessary, to ensure they are providing safe care. If you see something at a nursing home that doesn’t seem right, we encourage you to speak up.”

During September, nursing home surveyors conducted 543 inspections of 361 facilities, including 366 complaint investigations. Of these, 230 were COVID-19 specific. No sanctions were finalized.

Statewide, there have been 24,213 cases in residents and 5,332 cases among employees of nursing and personal care homes. There have been cases at 1,014 facilities in 61 counties, and 5,585 residents have died from causes related to COVID-19.

The latest report shows 28 Westmoreland County long-term care homes with COVID-19 cases. They include 480 cases in residents, 93 cases in employees and 33 resident deaths.

Cambria County’s report shows seven homes with a combined total of 54 resident cases, 27 staff cases and no deaths.

Somerset County’s report shows six homes with five resident cases, six staff cases and no deaths.

Bedford County’s report shows three homes with five resident cases, two staff cases and no deaths.

Blair County’s report shows 13 homes with 125 resident cases, 46 staff cases and 14 resident deaths.

A lists of nursing and personal care homes with COVID-19 cases are available on the health department website at https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/LTCF-Data.aspx

The state estimates 80% of COVID-19 patients have recovered, which is roughly 142,000 people.

Centre County’s recent surge in new cases related to Penn State University continues to ease, with 20 new cases on Thursday.

Across the region:

Cambria County now has recorded 801 cases and seven deaths.

Westmoreland County’s totals are 3,201 cases and 65 deaths.

Centre County’s totals are 3,614 cases and 14 deaths.

Somerset County added five cases to reach 284 cases and three deaths.

Bedford County added six cases to reach 315 cases and six deaths.

Blair County added 24 cases to reach 950 cases and 23 deaths.

Indiana County added 10 cases to reach 906 cases and 14 deaths.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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