York County sees uptick in new COVID cases: Could wintry weather be to blame?

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch

COVID-19 cases in York County surged past 66,000 over the weekend — and led to eight new deaths — amid a marked uptick in infections.

In all, York County has recorded 66,754 cases and 1,023 deaths since the start of the pandemic, including 1,519 new cases and eight deaths recorded since Friday. 

According to state Department of Health data, the county had 119 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Monday, including 29 adult patients in the ICU and 19 patients on ventilators. Across all 67 counties, the state has seen 1,648,285 cases and 32,411 deaths. There have been more than 5.8 million negative COVID-19 tests throughout Pennsylvania, including 196,433 in York County.

The local increases reflect a larger nationwide uptick over the last week. According to data compiled by The Washington Post, the weekly rolling average had increased 14% on Monday.

That could be a function of colder weather forcing more people indoors — even as vaccine access has increased with FDA approvals for younger children.

“As winter approaches again and as people get prepared for the holidays... we should be prepared for the fact that there may be an uptick in cases that we see in various parts of the country with cold weather," U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told Fox News on Sunday.

More:York County districts pass last year's COVID-19 total less than halfway through school year

As of Monday, local public schools have so far recorded 2,908 cases during the 2021-22 school year, including 34 new cases recorded over the weekend. York County schools have already broken the last school year's total case record, and at this rate they will more than double last year's total by summer. 

In the 2020-21 school year, York County districts recorded at least 2,861 cases, though the true total was likely over 3,000 due to recordkeeping disparities that still exist this year. 

More:More than 2,800 COVID-19 cases recorded at York County schools during school year

More:COVID-19 reporting varies widely among York County schools

No two school districts are tracking COVID-19 cases in the same way. 

Five districts — Dallastown, Hanover, Northeastern, Southern and West Shore — are not posting their total cases for the school year. Instead, some of them are only publishing cases recorded during the previous 14 days, while others are only posting active cases. 

Among other districts, COVID-19 tracking varies. Some districts don't include cases that were contracted while the students or staff were off district property. Some combine probable and confirmed cases, while others keep the two separate. 

It's impossible to know the exact number of COVID-19 cases linked to every school district in the county. But The York Dispatch will continue to keep track of the number of cases in each district to the best of our knowledge.

You can keep track of your district's recorded cases for the 2021-2022 school year here. We will continue to update on a daily basis as numbers change.