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Centre County Sees COVID-19 Cases Jump By 302, Setting Record For Single-Day Increase

In this file photo from summer 2020, a sign in front of the Mount Nittany Medical Center asks visitors to see a staff member if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
Min Xian

The number of reported COVID-19 cases in Centre County increased by 302 Friday, setting a single-day record, but the state said an oversight in reporting may be a factor in that large jump.

The county now has a total of  7,456 known cases. The previous largest single-day increase was 212 cases on Sept. 15. After that, the rise in cases in Centre County had slowed down.

A state Department of Health spokeswoman said because of the volume of tests, a large health care provider in central Pennsylvania sent some of their tests out for processing. Because the labwork may not have had a patient's address, the results were included in the county of the ordering lab or doctor, rather than the patient.

If the patient and doctor live in different counties, the counties' numbers may have been affected. The state has now corrected for that.

The sharp upturn in the county is in keeping with the record-breaking growth in cases at the state level. Statewide, COVID cases increased by 12,745, the second-largest single-day spike, according to the state Department of Health's numbers Friday. That brings the statewide total to 470,034.

The biggest increase statewide was 12,884 on Dec. 5. By comparison, on Nov. 5, the Department of Health reported an additional 2,900 cases statewide. The staggering numbers come as Gov. Tom Wolf announced new statewide restrictions in an effort to get control of the virus and its post-Thanksgiving spread.

“With these measures in place, we hope to accomplish three goals: First, stop the devastating spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth. Second, keep our hospitals and health care workers from becoming overwhelmed. And third, help Pennsylvanians get through the holiday season – and closer to a widely available vaccine – as safely as possible,” Wolf said.

Centre County is not alone in seeing the large growth in cases in central Pennsylvania. The state is reporting:

  • 6,709 cases in Cambria County, an increase of 305 since Thursday.
  • 5,808 cases in Blair County, an increase of 210.
  • 3,532 cases in Lycoming County, an increase of 248.

In Centre County, Mount Nittany Health reported a record number of patients being treated for COVID-19 at the hospital Wednesday. Those numbers continued Friday, with the medical center treating 47 inpatients for the coronavirus.

The state is reporting a total of 96 deaths in Centre County, a number that has doubled since the beginning of the month.

Anne Danahy has been a reporter at WPSU since fall 2017. Before crossing over to radio, she was a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, and she worked in communications at Penn State. She is married with cats.
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