COVID-19 Update rectangle

Courtesy of Commonwealth Media Services

Courtesy of Commonwealth Media Services

Washington County reported an additional death attributed to COVID-19 Saturday, bringing its total to 27. With 23 new cases of the virus over the weekend, Washington County reports a running total of 1,042.

Greene County registered three additional new positive virus cases to its total that reached 139.

Fayette County’s case-count grew by eight to 689 since virus records have been kept in Pennsylvania, beginning March 6.

Meanwhile, the virus has killed 7,673 Pennsylvania residents after 18 new deaths were announced. The state Health Department said 1,513 new cases were reported over the weekend, taking the statewide total to 133,504.

Beginning Saturday, the department stated that they would start publishing COVID-19 case counts using the updated standardized case definition for COVID-19 from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. This Atlanta-based nonprofit works with government agencies to assist epidemiologists statewide.

This new case definition does not impact past reported numbers, and the definition for confirmed cases using a positive PCR test has not changed. Moving forward, those with a positive antibody test will no longer be considered a probable case. Viral antigen tests, which identify people who are likely currently infected, will now be regarded as a probable case, even if the individual has no symptoms or exposure history.

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine emphasized the importance of mask-wearing in combating the pandemic.

“The mitigation efforts in place now are essential as we protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, including our children as they start school and our loved ones in long-term care facilities,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and following the requirements set forth in the orders for bars and restaurants, gatherings, and telework will help keep our case counts low. We know that the cases in schools and in facilities such as nursing homes are often a reflection of the spread of the virus in the local community. Together, as Pennsylvanians, we each have a part to play in working to ensure that cases of COVID-19 remain low.”

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