York County reports 14 new COVID deaths and more than 1,600 new cases Friday

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch

York County saw more than 1,600 new COVID-19 cases and 14 new deaths Friday to cap off a week that saw lower new cases and an increasing death rate. 

The pace of new cases slowed this week, raising a glimmer of hope that the region may be near the crest of the omicron-driven surge.

But it's worth remembering, however, that the rate of new cases is still higher to what York County was seeing during it's previous big COVID-19 peak last winter. Last January, the highest number of new cases the county recorded in one day was 717.

According to state Department of Health, York County has recorded 108,394 cases and 1,316 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Only about 53% of York County residents are fully vaccinated, according to the state Department of Health. That figure does not include residents who have received additional doses.

With so much attention being paid to COVID, another outbreak — of influenza — has gone under the radar. According to the state health department, there have been 28,475 laboratory-confirmed flu cases. York has reported 1,211 cases so far this flu season.

“It is not too late to get your flu vaccine if you have not already done so," said Ray Barishansky, deputy health secretary of health preparedness. “We know that people who get the flu after being vaccinated have less severe symptoms and are not sick for as long as those who do not get vaccinated. We also know that the COVID-19 vaccines do not protect you from getting the flu. So, while we have been encouraging everyone to get COVID-19 vaccines, you still also need to get  your flu vaccine.”

READ MORE: It's time to supply everyone with free N95 masks — and for us to use them, too

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COVID-19 hospitalization rates in York County have also begun to drop. Hospitals in York County had a total of 244 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Friday, a decrease of 16 since Thursday. Of those patients, 50 adults were in the ICU and 41 were on ventilators, according to the state Department of Health. 

WellSpan York Hospital had 198 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Thursday. The rest of the WellSpan Health system had 460 COVID-19 patients across all facilities, and that number has been steadily dropping since peaking at more than 500 patients earlier this month. 

York County has the highest daily cases per capita among its four neighboring counties, at 241 daily cases per 100,000 people, according to The New York Times. It is also the only county among its immediate neighbors to continue seeing an increasing rate of cases, rather than a decreasing rate. 

  • York County: 9% increase in cases over the last 14 days
  • Lancaster County: 12% decrease in cases over the last 14 days
  • Adams County: 10% increase in cases over the last 14 days
  • Cumberland County: 35% increase in cases over the last 14 days
  • Dauphin County: 5% decrease in cases over the last 14 days
  • Philadelphia: 36% decrease in cases over the last 14 days
  • New York City: 56% decrease in cases over the last 14 days

Across Pennsylvania, the case total increased to 2,542,544 and 39,362 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the state Department of Health.

Schools: Meanwhile, York County's 16 public school districts logged 92 new COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the total for the 2021-2022 school year to 7,720. 

Local schools recorded 972 cases this week alone, with cases spiking over the last three weeks. Since Jan. 3, schools have reported 2,890 cases, which is more than the total cases reported throughout all of last school year. 

York County schools have already nearly tripled the total number of COVID-19 cases that were reported throughout all of the previous school year. At this rate, schools will easily surpass 10,000 cases before summer break. 

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.