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Sunday update: COVID-19 deaths in Pa. jump by 276, two more in York County

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

There were 18 new cases of COVID-19 in York County and two additional deaths as of Sunday, the state Department of Health reported, and the number of deaths in Pennsylvania jumped significantly.

Statewide, the department reported an increase of 1,215 cases, bringing the total to 32,284. The state also reported 276 new deaths on Sunday, bringing the total to 1,112, with more than half of the deaths occurring in nursing homes and personal care facilities.

"Today we are reporting a significant increase in the number of deaths due to COVID-19," said Dr. Rachel Levine, the state's health secretary, on Sunday. "These deaths did not happen overnight. They did not all occur in the last 24 hours." 

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Levine said that confirming data to be true takes time, because epidemiologists must investigate deaths that are reported to the state. There are also cases with multiple causes of death listed that require more investigation, she said.

"So today, the increase in deaths is a culmination of that data validating effort," Levine said. 

York County has 481 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and six virus-related deaths since the beginning of the outbreak last month.

There are 126,570 people who have tested negative for COVID-19 in the state.

Approximately 1,618 of the statewide total cases are in health care workers, and more than half of the deaths in Pennsylvania due to COVID-19 occurred in nursing homes and personal care facilities, according to data released by the state.

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In nursing and personal care homes, there are 4,450 resident cases of COVID-19 and 479 cases among employees, for a total of 4,929 at 368 distinct facilities in 35 counties.

Of the 1,112 deaths, 624 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities, health officials said. 

In York County, three residents and one employee at two facilities have tested positive.

No deaths at nursing or personal care homes have been reported in York County.

WellSpan's second drive-thru coronavirus testing site in York County is open at the York Expo Center, Friday, March 20, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.