York County records hundreds of new COVID cases, three new deaths

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch

York County recorded 353 new COVID-19 cases and three new deaths on Friday. 

Locally, there were 199 patients hospitalized for the virus as of Friday. That included 42 adult patients in intensive care and 33 patients on ventilators. 

In York County schools, COVID-19 rates are rising dramatically, with local public schools recording nearly 400 cases in one week. 

The area's schools reached at least 3,904 cases on Friday, including 76 new cases recorded over the previous 24 hours. 

Dec. 10 COVID data for York County.

Last week alone, local schools logged 381 new cases. That is more than 100 cases higher than the previous weekly record for schools, which was 275 cases. 

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. In the 2020-21 school year, county schools recorded about 2,800 cases.

The higher rate of spread was expected by health experts, including York City Medical Director Dr. Matthew Howie, who had predicted new cases would rise after Thanksgiving. 

The emergence of the omicron variant — deemed "highly transmissible" by the World Health Organization — also has raised alarm that the  anticipated winter surge could be further compounded nationwide. Omicron cases have been identified in Pennsylvania, according to officials. 

Across all 67 counties, the state had recorded 1,818,299 cases as of Friday, including 34,415 deaths. In addition, there have been 5.9 million negative tests taken, with 199,669 of those coming from York County.  

More:West York schools defy Wolf's mandate, make masks optional

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