Dr. Rachel Levine

FILE - In this May 29, 2020, file photo, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, meets with the media at The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) headquarters in Harrisburg, Pa. (Joe Hermitt/The Patriot-News via AP)

Cambria County and Pennsylvania reported record numbers for new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday. Cambria County’s record 13 new deaths were among 249 additional COVID-19 deaths statewide, the Department of Health’s midday update showed.

All area counties reported multiple deaths.

The state added 10,049 new cases, bringing Pennsylvania’s totals to 519,369 cases and 13,168 deaths associated with COVID-19.

To combat the current surge in case a free testing site will open Friday at the Reliant Energy Building, 1001 Broad St.

Drive-up and walk-in testing will be available to anyone age 3 and older from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Tuesday. Patients are encouraged to bring a photo-ID or insurance card. Registration will be completed on-site. The turnaround time for testing results is two to seven days after testing.

“Over the past several weeks, we have seen a rapid increase of positive case counts reaching record-high levels, which gives us significant cause for concern,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said.

“In fact, every county now has a positivity rate greater than five percent, which is alarming. In addition, two counties have percent positivity above 30 percent and 15 counties have percent positivity above 20 percent.”

Cambria County had a positivity rate of 21.6% on the most recent early warning dashboard. Bedford County’s 32.1% positivity rate was highest in the state. Only Bedford and Crawford counties had positivity above 30%.

Somerset County’s rate was 28.5% and Blair County’s was 20.6%.

Cambria, Franklin, Mercer, Montour, and Luzerne counties have testing sites opening Friday. The counties with testing sites will change each week over the next 10 weeks so that 61 counties will eventually be covered by dedicated pop-up testing sites.

Cambria County added 174 new cases and now has 7,473 cases and 170 deaths associated with COVID-19 since the pandemic struck Pennsylvania in March.

Somerset County added 185 cases and four deaths to reach 3,636 cases and 42 deaths.

Blair County added 103 cases and six deaths to reach 6,551 cases and 122 deaths.

Bedford County added 53 cases and four deaths to reach 2,509 cases and 72 deaths.

Indiana County added 56 cases and two deaths to reach 3,502 cases and 82 deaths.

Clearfield County added 86 cases to top 3,000 total COVID-19 cases. With its three new deaths, the county has reached 3,039 cases and 31 deaths.

Centre County added 105 cases and three deaths to reach 7,919 cases and 113 deaths.

Westmoreland County’s 356 new cases pushed its total above 15,000. With its 10 new deaths, Westmoreland has had 15,158 cases and 317 deaths.

Hospitalizations leveled out slightly, with 6,346 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Pennsylvania, up from 6,295 on Tuesday. The state’s intensive care units had 1,238 COVID-19 patients and there were 740 using ventilators or breathing machines.

Across Cambria, Somerset, Blair and Bedford counties, there were 288 COVID-19 patients, including 25 in ICUs and 23 on ventilators.

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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