Surging virus: Daily COVID-19 case averages have doubled locally

Randy Griffith, The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.
·3 min read

Apr. 15—Local counties are catching up with the statewide surge in COVID-19 cases.

Cambria County's 66 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday puts the county's rolling seven-day average at 59 cases a day — the highest average since late January.

Blair's 30 new cases on Thursday puts its average at 47 cases a day — also the highest average since January.

Two weeks ago, Cambria was averaging 23 cases a day and Blair's average was 26 cases.

Cambria also added two new COVID-19 deaths in Thursday's report by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, bringing the county's totals to 12,956 cases and 412 deaths.

A total of 5,060 new cases and 44 additional deaths were recorded across Pennsylvania, bringing the state totals to 1,092,852 cases and 25,566 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

In addition to the Cambria deaths, Somerset, Clearfield and Westmoreland counties each recorded one additional COVID-19 death.

Somerset County added 20 cases, Bedford County added 18, Indiana added 35, Clearfield added 41, Centre added 97 and Westmoreland added 152 new cases.

Meanwhile, the state has extended the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through April 24 while experts continue to review a handful of patients who developed serious blood clots after receiving the one-dose vaccine.

The state has now administered 6,736,568 total vaccine doses, and 2,555,581 people are fully vaccinated.

Another 1,862,642 people are partially vaccinated, meaning they have received one dose of a two-dose vaccine.

Clinics slated

A vaccine clinic was held on Thursday in Coopersdale Homes, a Johstown Housing Authority community.

With all adults now eligible to receive the vaccines, the clinic's sponsors will continue offering shots in the city's housing projects.

William Kurtycz, CEO of Hyndman Area Health Center Inc., said the community outreach is a collaboration of his company's Richland Family Health Center in College Park Plaza, the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health and the housing authority.

"At Richland Family Health Center, we decided to take the shots to the people," Kurtycz said.

The local outreach has already provided hundreds of doses with clinics in downtown senior high-rise apartments and other residential complexes catering to seniors.

"We are just going to keep it going," he said, adding that additional clinics will be announced as they are finalized.

Highland Health is holding its first vaccine clinic that is open to all adults from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at Senior LIFE Johnstown, 401 Broad St.

Clinics are scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at Confluence Senior Center, 700 Reynolds St., Confluence, and from 1 to 4 p.m. April 23 at Contres-Greer Social Hall, 1700 Kennedy Ave., Northern Cambria.

Registration is available through the free clinic's website, highlandshealthclinic.com.

Conemaugh Health System and Cambria County Emergency Management Agency are sponsoring a clinic from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 26 at the Johnstown Galleria in Richland Township. Phone registration is available at 814-410-8400.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.