COVID surge: Six more deaths, nearly 400 new cases in York County

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch
A vaccination clinic at LifePath Christian Ministries offered a range of vaccine options at a clinic Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. LifePath partnered with community organizations to offer the clinic, providing free COVID-19 shots, boosters and flu shots at its York City men's shelter. Vaccines for age-eligible children were also available. Bill Kalina photo

York County reported 393 new cases and six COVID-related deaths Friday, according to the state Department of Health.

COVID-19 rates continue to spike in York County schools, as well, as city officials take measures to mitigate transmission during the holidays. 

York County schools have recorded at least 4,297 cases this school year, including 93 new cases since Thursday. This week alone, local schools have logged 393 cases, more than any other week this school year. 

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York County schools have already surpassed last year's total case count by more than 1,000 cases. At this rate, local schools will triple last year's total by the end of this school year. 

Cases have been rising in local schools since Thanksgiving break, something experts anticipated as the weather grew colder. 

"The winter COVID-19 surge is real," York City Medical Director Dr. Matthew Howie said. 

York City announced Friday that it was canceling several public events scheduled for New Year's Eve, and was taking measures to limit the number of in-person visits to City Hall over the holidays. The decision is an attempt to mitigate future COVID-19 spread, and to help local hospitals, which are operating above 100% capacity because of the surge. 

More:York City cancels holiday events due to COVID-19 surge

More:Walmart in York County temporarily shuts down due to COVID-19

York County hospitals had 237 COVID-19 patients as of Friday, adding seven patients since Thursday. Of those patients, 38 adults are in the ICU, and 38 patients are on ventilators.

York's WellSpan hospital had 186 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday, nearing the peak of COVID-19 patients hospitalized throughout the pandemic. Overall, all WellSpan locations have 459 COVID-19 patients, which is more than the healthcare system has ever seen since the outbreak began. 

Health care systems nationwide — including WellSpan — are postponing nonemergency surgeries, struggling to quickly find beds for patients and failing to meet the minimum nurse-patient ratios experts recommend. Some even have had to turn away critical patients.

York County COVID-19 hospital data as of Dec. 17, 2021.

READ MORE: Gov. Tom Wolf calls on FEMA to help respond to COVID-19 surge

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York County has the highest daily cases per capita among its four neighboring counties, at 88 daily cases per 100,000 people, according to The New York Times. However, the rate of transmission in York County is on par with most of its neighbors. 

  • York County: 40% increase in cases over the last 14 days
  • Lancaster County: 41% increase in cases over the last 14 days
  • Adams County: 59% increase in cases over the last 14 days
  • Cumberland County: 36% increase in cases over the last 14 days
  • Dauphin County: 72% increase in cases over the last 14 days

Since the start of the pandemic, York County has logged 76,873 cases and 1,136 deaths.

Across all 67 counties, the state had recorded 1,874,155, including 35,183 deaths. In addition, there have been 6 million negative tests taken, with 200,806 of those coming from York County.

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.