COVID cases continue to rise in York County as summer approaches

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

COVID-19 cases continue to rise across York County as the summer approaches.

Since the end of May, triple-digit daily case counts are once again a routine occurrence in York County, according to state Department of Health data, with another 103 cases reported on Wednesday. According to analysis by The New York Times, the rolling 7-day average stood at 120 new cases and fewer than one death per day.

Despite the higher case rate, hospitalizations remain low. York County reported 29 patients hospitalized with COVID with none on a ventilator or in the ICU. That's in line with what doctors have said about recent COVID outbreaks. 

"Although we have seen a significant rise in COVID-19 cases in the community over the last 2 months, fortunately we have not seen a dramatic rise in hospitalizations at WellSpan," said Dr. Eugene Curley, a WellSpan infectious disease physician.

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Curley said factors that may contribute to the decreased severity of COVID include the widespread availability of therapeutics that increase community immunity both natural and vaccination related over time.

According to the latest data, York County has reported 123,752 cases of COVID since the pandemic began and 1,518 deaths. That's an increase of 3,380 cases and 16 deaths since May 11. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, York County's community level is low. CDC guidance calls for residents to stay up to date with COVID vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms.

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Updated weekly, community levels are measured by new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days.

In its monthly update, the Pennsylvania Department of Health encouraged residents to use the CDC's community levels tracker to see the risk of COVID in counties and find recommendations to avoid spreading the virus.

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“We have access to the right tools to fight the spread of COVID-19 like wearing a mask and getting tested," Acting Secretary and Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said, in a written statement. "Regardless of what community level, we know getting fully vaccinated and boosted offers the best protection against this virus.” 

Curley said people need to stay on guard as new omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are beginning to emerge across the country.

"Low hospitalizations are reassuring," he said, "but the pandemic is not over."

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