COVID cases once again spiking in York County

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

COVID-19 cases are once again spiking in York County.

In the latest data released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the county reported 643 new cases in the past week, with a high of 122 new cases reported on Friday. One new death was reported.

 City of York Medical Director Dr. Matt Howie speaks at the York County Administrative Center in York City, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. The recent uptick in positive COVID-19 testing, specifically at York County Prison, was addressed. Dawn J. Sagert photo

State health officials have been releasing information on an irregular basis since April, with daily numbers posted on the COVID-19 dashboard up to a week at a time.

Dr. Matt Howie, York City's medical director, said the best ways to avoid contracting the new subvariants of COVID-19 are the same as they have always been.

“Physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings and using masks when other mitigation efforts are not able to be applied,” Howie recommended Wednesday.

Symptoms of the new variant are similar to the original COVID-19 symptoms. Those include fever or chills, coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

York County has seen 1,502 deaths since the pandemic began. In all, the county has reported 120,372 COVID cases since the start of the pandemic.

Hospitalizations are growing as well, with 31 patients hospitalized on Wednesday, with five in the ICU and one on a ventilator. 

The 14-day average of hospitalizations has been trending up since mid-April and stood at 23.4 on Wednesday.

>> Please consider subscribing to support local journalism. 

While the new data does not match the heights of the omicron surge this winter, experts are increasingly warning the public about a new subvariant, BA.2.12.1. BA.2.12.1 is making up approximately 37% of new coronavirus cases across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It will likely become the new dominant subvariant of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the White House is pushing for a $22.5 billion COVID aid package to fund vaccines, therapeutics and other treatments. At least one key Republican, Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, has put his support behind a smaller COVID funding bill — which calls for spending $10 billion.

“I’m just anxious to get the vote on the COVID package as soon as we can,” Romney told The New York Times.

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.