York County logs one COVID-19 death Monday as schools gear up for Thanksgiving break

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch

As local schools prepare to take some time off for Thanksgiving, COVID-19 is continuing its steady spread through schools and the rest of the county. 

In all, York County has recorded 68,544 cases and 1,053 deaths since the start of the pandemic, including 250 new cases and one new death recorded Monday.

According to state Department of Health data, the county had 128 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Monday, including 27 adult patients in the ICU and 23 patients on ventilators. 

Across all 67 counties, the state has seen 1,691,773 cases and 32,931 deaths. There have been more than 5.8 million negative COVID-19 tests throughout Pennsylvania, including 197,578 in York County.

York City School District is having students stay home and complete remote learning this week, before the holiday break, "out of an abundance of caution," according to a district announcement. 

More:Gov. Tom Wolf's mask mandate must expire Dec. 4, judge rules amid school debate

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

As of Monday, local public schools had recorded 3,134 cases during the 2021-22 school year, including 49 new cases recorded over the weekend. York County schools have already broken last school year's total case count and at this rate 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. 

Most York County public schools are still holding classes in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, with students getting just Thursday and Friday off for the holiday. Some districts are also giving students next Monday off. 

Several districts plan to have early dismissals on Wednesday.

COVID-19 school closures are less common this school year, but they have happened at least three times in York County, once with the Spring Grove Area School District and twice with the Northern York County School District.

York City has not closed any schools this year until now, even though the district has one of the higher COVID-19 totals in the county, with at least 249 cases recorded since August. 

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.