The Pennsylvania Department of Health found that 24 cases from a recent one-day spike in new COVID-19 positives in Centre County were not valid and removed them from the county's total on Thursday.
On Sunday, DOH reported 43 new cases in Centre County, nearly four times the county's previous one-day high. Mount Nittany Health noticed the unusual spike in positive results at the end of last week and contacted DOH to coordinate review of the tests and conduct re-testing
"As the Pennsylvania Department of Health determined a number of the positive test results were not valid, we retested individuals and... reviewing those results... [led] to a number of cases being removed from the case count for Centre County," DOH spokesperson Maggi Mumma wrote in an email on Thursday. "In total, 24 cases were removed from the Centre County count due to this."
Mount Nittany Health sends collected samples to outside labs for testing and what caused the invalid results was not clear.
"We use multiple commercial labs to conduct COVID-19 tests, and we closely monitor and review the results that are returned to us," Mount Nittany Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nirmal Joshi said on Wednesday. "When we received an unusually high number of positive results on Friday, we immediately alerted the Department of Health and implemented a plan to quickly re-test these individuals over the weekend."
The health department reported on Thursday that Centre County has had 353 cases since the first was reported on March 20. It had listed 370 on Wednesday, so removing the 24 invalid cases means the county added seven new positives on Thursday.
The county also had 152 new negative test results, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. A total of 8,382 patients in Centre County have tested negative for the virus.
In the past two weeks Centre County has added a total of 91 COVID-19 cases.
Nursing and personal care home cases in the county remained unchanged with 33 among residents and 18 among employees at five facilities.
Two COVID-19 patients in Centre County are hospitalized as of 2 p.m. on Thursday. Across Pennsylvania, 756 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, with 104 requiring use of a ventilator.
Statewide, the health department reported 860 new positives, increasing Pennsylvania's total to 111,078. Thursday's numbers include 132 new cases in Allegheny County and 127 in Philadelphia.
A total of 1,088,859 patients in Pennsylvania have tested negative, an increase of 14,996 since Wednesday. Over the past seven days, 163,936 COVID-19 tests have been administered in Pennsylvania with 6,822 positive test results.
An estimated 75% of COVID-19 patients in the state — about 83,309 — have recovered, according to a DOH calculation.
The health department also reported 14 new deaths attributed to the virus statewide, bringing Pennsylvania's total to 7,176. DOH lists a total of 10 COVID-19 deaths for Centre County, though the Centre County Coroner's Office has confirmed seven. The most recent reported COVID-19 death for the county was reported on Tuesday, a a 91-year-old nursing home resident.
Among the state's total cases 107,958 are confirmed and 3,120 are probable. In Centre County, 314 are confirmed and 39 are probable.
Centre County's cases by zip code, according to available DOH data:
*Note: Specific numbers for zip codes with 1-4 cases are redacted by the health department.
16801 (State College): 72 confirmed [-9], 10 probable [+1]
16823 (Bellefonte): 59 confirmed [-3], 8 probable
16803 (State College): 48 confirmed [-3], 6 probable
16875 (Spring Mills): 18 confirmed
16841 (Howard): 15 confirmed [-2], 1-4 probable
16827 (Boalsburg): 15 confirmed
16866 (Philipsburg): 15 confirmed
16870 (Port Matilda): 13 confirmed
16828 (Centre Hall): 9 confirmed [-1], 1-4 probable
16853 (Milesburg): 6 confirmed
16802 (University Park), 16804 (State College), 16820 (Aaronsburg), 16826 (Blanchard), 16829 (Clarence), 16832 (Coburn), 16844 (Julian), 16845 (Karthaus), 16851 (Lemont), 16852 (Madisonburg), 16854 (Millheim), 16856 (Mingoville), 16865 (Pennsylvania Furnace), 16868 (Pine Grove Mills), 16872 (Rebersburg), 16874 (Snow Shoe), 16877 (Warrior's Mark) and 16882 (Woodward) each have 1-4 confirmed or probable cases.
Among Centre County's bordering counties, Huntingdon now has 287 total cases, Blair has 201 [+2], Union has 135 [+6], Clearfield has 122 [+2], Clinton has 113 [+1] and Mifflin has 98 [+5].