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State cites decline in probable cases, deaths

By KRISTIE LINDEN

成年轻人电影直接看The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported a decrease in probable cases of COVID-19 and probable related deaths Thursday.

The changes have impacted the total case count, but not the confirmed case total. 

The cases were previously reported as probable, but review determined that more information is needed before attributing them as COVID-19 related. 

On Thursday, the state reported a total of 37,053 virus cases, which represents an increase of 1,369 cases since Wednesday. DOH Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine reported that 388 of the total cases are probable, not confirmed. 

Levine said there is a decrease in the number of deaths the DOH has reported as related to COVID-19 since Wednesday as 201 probable deaths were removed from the total for further investigation. The new total death count is 1,421, down from the 1,622 reported Wednesday.

“It was determined that we needed more information before attributing them to COVID-19,” Levine said.

Using probable cases and probable deaths in the data presented to the public is an effort to be as transparent as possible, Levine said. The addition of probable cases is also part of the Centers for Disease Control and Protection standards.

The DOH said probable cases make up less than 2% of total cases and give the department an idea that something may be happening in a community that needs further investigation.

成年轻人电影直接看“Earlier this week we started to include data on probable cases, but we realized this category can be confusing because it does change over time,” Levine said Thursday. “Some of the probable cases are still under investigation meaning data is still being gathered. Some will remain probable, especially after someone tragically passes away.”

Levine said the department continues to refine the data as quickly as possible, but it’s difficult given the number of reports produced each day. There will be times, she said, when certain pieces of data need to be reviewed and analyzed further.

成年轻人电影直接看Part of the issue, Levine said, is that numbers from counties has changed over time as some deaths were reported in the county in which the person died rather the county where they lived.

Levine said the DOH relies on confirmed case counts to make data-driven decisions. 

That data is what will be used as Pennsylvania utilizes a three-phase matrix to determine when counties and/or regions are ready to begin easing some restrictions on work, congregate settings and social interactions.

The three phases are color coded — red, yellow and green. The entire state is red now, Gov. Tom Wolf is looking to move northwestern and north-central Pennsylvania regions into the yellow phase, which will loosen some restrictions as soon as May 8.

The Allegheny County Health Department reported an increase of 61 cases Thursday that was due, in part, to a laboratory adding results to the system in a batch reflecting tests conducted over several days. 

The figure reported in Allegheny is now at 1,149 cases, which includes 1,119 confirmed cases and 30 probable cases. 

成年轻人电影直接看ACHD reported a decrease in the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 Thursday, from 74 to 69.

成年轻人电影直接看“The data provided by ACHD is extracted from the state’s reporting system. When reviewing the deaths reported yesterday, ACHD staff identified a number of duplicates. The decrease in the number of deaths is due to the removal of those duplicates from the county-specific data,” the department stated in a release Thursday.

Of those 69 deaths, 62 are confirmed to be COVID-19 related. 

In the other counties covering the Mon Valley, there are no individual health departments and the amount and type of data released hasn’t been as thorough or easily available as what comes from ACHD.

In Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties, the only data available on the DOH website related to probable cases can be found by clicking on individual zip codes on an interactive map.

Fayette County has a total of 71 cases, an increase of one, and three deaths, a figure that has not increased.

Washington County added five new cases for a total of 92 patients, and the county has reported no new deaths. There have been two fatalities.

Westmoreland County has seven new cases for a total 307 and according to the DOH, there has been a reduction in the total death count, which is now 17. However, Westmoreland County Coroner Ken Bacha continues to report a death toll of 26. 

Port Authority

The Port Authority of Allegheny County has received confirmation that a maintenance employee who works at its West Mifflin garage has tested positive for COVID-19. 

成年轻人电影直接看This brings the total number of cases to nine Port Authority employees, including five who work in maintenance at that location.

The employee last worked Monday and has been at home in quarantine since then.

After consulting with union leadership, the Port Authority has decided to reduce the number of maintenance employees during each shift and will bring in a contractor to clean and disinfect the facility.

成年轻人电影直接看Beginning Sunday, all employees at that location will have their temperatures taken before starting. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4 degrees will be sent home with pay.

The Port Authority has sought to minimize the spread of the virus by disinfecting vehicles more frequently, promoting social distancing, having customers board from the back doors, limiting the number of passengers on vehicles and asking riders to cover their faces when riding.

As of Thursday, the Port Authority had 85 employees held out of work pending COVID-19 testing. Forty-nine have returned to work since testing negative.

成年轻人电影直接看Another hotspot statewide continues to be nursing and personal care homes.

In Allegheny County, there are 32 facilities with 227 cases among residents and 74 cases among employees and 49 deaths. 

成年轻人电影直接看In Fayette County, there is one facility with three cases among residents and no cases among employees and one death.

成年轻人电影直接看In Washington County, there are three facilities with six cases among residents and two cases among employees and one death.

成年轻人电影直接看In Westmoreland County, there are five facilities with 88 cases among residents and 25 cases among employees and 18 deaths.