Centre County COVID-19 cases increased by 47 Wednesday, its largest single-day spike since the pandemic began, according to state Department of Health data.
The county has 538 cases — 491 confirmed and 47 probable — up from a total of 491 Tuesday. The jump comes as the State College Area School District has been grappling with if and when to move to remote learning — even temporarily.
The county’s numbers by zip code include:
- 162 confirmed cases and 18 probable cases in the 16801 zip code. That’s up from 127 confirmed and 18 probable Tuesday.
- 26 confirmed cases in the 16802 zip code, Penn State’s University Park campus, up from 16.
- 60 confirmed cases and 6 probable in the 16803 zip code, up from 57 confirmed and 6 probable.
Penn State reported a total of 69 cases at University Park in its online dashboard Tuesday.
Statewide, there are 135,611 cases, up from 134,795, according to Wednesday's state Department of Health report.
The State College Area school board has been discussing if and when to switch to remote learning. Factors include the number of cases and hospital capacity.
Superintendent Bob O’Donnell said in a message Wednesday that the state Department of Health reported 48 new cases within the district's zip codes. That puts the district's seven-day total at 105 cases — above the range of 50-75 cases where the district had decided it would look at shifting entirely to remote classes.
"Moving forward, despite the rise in cases, the district is staying open for now," O'Donnell said. "As I expressed yesterday, if our schools are still safe — which we still believe they are — we are committed to providing in-person learning for as long as we can."
O'Donnell said it is the district's understanding that most of the new cases are Penn State students. He plans to ask the board to reevaluate the protocols for closing school buildings and switching to remote learning.
The board is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday.