Increasing COVID-19 cases continue on the eve of Thanksgiving

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch

Just before Thanksgiving, COVID-19 case rates are increasing across Pennsylvania at every level: in schools, across York County and around the state. 

In all, York County recorded 69,066 cases and 1,058 deaths since the start of the pandemic, including 302 new cases and four new deaths recorded Wednesday. The county has seen a 16% increase in cases over the last week, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

According to state Department of Health data, York County had 143 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, including 30 adult patients in the ICU and 27 patients on ventilators. 

Across all 67 counties, the state has seen 1,704,528 cases and 33,101 deaths. There have been more than 5.8 million negative COVID-19 tests throughout Pennsylvania, including 197,785 in York County.

State officials do not plan to update their COVID-19 database for the rest of the week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The next update on Pennsylvania's COVID-19 numbers will happen Monday, according to Department of Health spokeswoman Maggie Barton.

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 Wednesday, local public schools had recorded at least 3,268 cases during the 2021-22 school year, including 52 new cases recorded since Tuesday. This followed a surge of 82 daily cases on Tuesday — the highest number of new cases recorded for York County schools in a month. 

York County schools have already topped the previous school year's total case count and at this rate will more than double last year's total by the summer. Last school year, county schools recorded about 2,800 cases.

New cases are expected to dip for schools, as most schools have Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving. Several York County districts are also giving students and staff Monday off for the holiday.

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.