What We Know About PA's Coronavirus Hospitalization, Death Rate

Kara Seymour

This article originally appeared on the Across Pennsylvania Patch

HARRISBURG, PA — The majority of confirmed coronavirus infections in Pennsylvania have been found in people ages 50 and older. But nearly as many people ages 25 to 49 have tested positive, according to data shared by state health officials.

According to Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine, 46 percent of positive cases are people aged 50 and older. Patients in the 25 to 49 age bracket make up 39 percent of the cases as of Thursday, she said.

That data shows that "it's very important that younger adults not be complacent about their susceptibility to COVID-19," Levine said.

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Levine said about 170 Pennsylvanians have required hospitalization due to COVID-19 since March 6 — when the state confirmed its first case. That's a hospitalization rate of about 10 percent of positive cases. As of Thursday, Pennsylvania has confirmed 1,687 total cases in 48 counties.

Of those hospitalizations, 56 patients have been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Of those in the ICU, 32 patients have required a ventilator, Levine said.

Of those hospitalized, approximately 46 percent are over the age of 65. Many have chronic medical conditions, Levine said. Of the 16 deaths in Pennsylvania, 68 percent have been age 65 or older.

Pennsylvania's coronavirus cases shot up by 560 overnight, health officials announced Thursday. Five more people died, bringing the statewide death total to 16. One of those deaths was a 62-year-old Montgomery County man.

Thursday's reported cases were the state's largest single-day increase since the outbreak began.

Philadelphia had a drastic spike in cases overnight, with 402 people testing positive for COVID-19. Montgomery County has 282 cases, Delaware County has 156 cases, Bucks County has 107 cases, and Chester County reports 84 cases. A full county break down can be found here.

Levine said the success of social distancing measures, including closure of non-essential businesses and stay at home orders in 10 counties, remains to be seen. People who test positive today may have been exposed to the virus several days or even weeks ago, due to the 14-day incubation period, she noted.

"There's going to be a lag before we see evidence of a bending of that curve," Levine said. "We are hopeful that we will able to see progress."

Gov. Tom Wolf, during a Thursday press conference, cautioned that the state is at the beginning of the crisis. "We're not fighting a battle here, we're fighting a war," he said.