Centre County Sees Record Increase in COVID-19 Cases
September 09, 2020 12:30 PM
by Geoff Rushton
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A day after Penn State reported a spike in new COVID-19 cases among students, Centre County's numbers saw a corresponding increase.

Centre County added 184 COVID-19 cases to its total on Wednesday, bringing its count to 870 since the first was reported on March 20. Among new cases, 180 were in the State College and University Park zip codes.

The county also had 1,876 new negative test results, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. A total of 18,762 patients in Centre County have tested negative for the virus.

According to DOH data, Centre County has one COVID-19 hospitalization.

While the increase was more than four times the county's previous single-day high, it reflects, in large part, Penn State's reporting on Tuesday of 205 new cases. The university updated its COVID-19 dashboard to show 163 additional positives from tests that were previously still pending for the week of Aug. 28-Sept. 3. Another 42 cases resulted from testing between Friday and Sunday, while 465 tests during that time were still awaiting results.

The increases nearly doubled Penn State's total number of cases among students attending University Park to 416 since mid-August.

Centre County's increases and overall testing had been relatively low from Sunday through Tuesday, averaging 11 positives and 124 total test results and indicating a lag in reporting during Labor Day weekend.

"The department reports data from what has been reported to us through the end of the previous day. So, the new cases reported publicly today, were reported to us yesterday, on September 8," DOH spokesman Nate Wardle said in an email. "Another entity may announce new cases on a different timeframe, which can lead to some lags between what they report, and what the department reports.

"We know coming off of weekends and especially holiday weekends, there can be a lag in the time the cases are reported to the Department of Health. However, any increases are a reminder to us all to wash our hands, wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Wardle did not specify Penn State but said there is "at least one large outbreak occurring in the county, and it does appear that most of the cases are coming from that."

Last week the county had already seen a significant rise in new cases. As of Friday, Centre was one of only two counties in Pennsylvania to be in the state's substantial level of community transmission, with a 5.0% positivity rate and 105 cases per 100,000 residents over the previous seven days, according to the state's early warning monitoring dashboard.

In the past two weeks the county has added 441 cases, 332 in the past week. For the months of July and August combined, Centre County reported 283 new cases.

Statewide, the health department reported 931 new positives, increasing Pennsylvania's total to 141,290.

There were 10,923 new negative test results statewide. A total of 1,625,640 patients in Pennsylvania have tested negative for the virus.

An estimated 82% of COVID-19 patients in the state — about 115,857 — have recovered, according to a DOH calculation.

Across Pennsylvania, 492 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, with 60 requiring use of a ventilator.

The health department reported 14 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the state's total at 7,805. DOH has reported 11 total COVID-19 deaths for Centre County, the most recent on Aug. 14. The coroner's office has confirmed only seven, ranging in age from 74 to 96.

Most COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths have been among patients 65 and older, according to DOH.

Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:

Among Pennsylvania's total cases, 137,241 are confirmed and 4,049 are probable. In Centre County, 822 are confirmed and 48 are probable. For Wednesday's cases, all 184 are confirmed.

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. Daily increases are in brackets.

16801 (State College): 386 confirmed [+137], 19 probable

16802 (University Park): 97 confirmed [+35]

16823 (Bellefonte): 74 confirmed, 6 probable

16803 (State College): 72 confirmed [+8], 6 probable

16866 (Philipsburg): 26 confirmed, 1-4 probable

16875 (Spring Mills): 23 confirmed

16841 (Howard): 24 confirmed [+1], 1-4 probable

16870 (Port Matilda): 21 confirmed, 1-4 probable

16827 (Boalsburg): 18 confirmed [+1]

16828 (Centre Hall): 13 confirmed, 1-4 probable

16851 (Lemont) 7 confirmed

16853 (Milesburg): 7 confirmed

16854 (Millheim) 6 confirmed, 1-4 probable

16844 (Julian) 6 confirmed

16877 (Warrior's Mark) 5 confirmed

16865 (Pennsylvania Furnace) 5 confirmed

16820 (Aaronsburg) 5 confirmed

16677 (Sandy Ridge), 16804 (State College), 16826 (Blanchard), 16829 (Clarence), 16832 (Coburn), 16845 (Karthaus), 16852 (Madisonburg), 16856 (Mingoville), 16868 (Pine Grove Mills), 16872 (Rebersburg), 16874 (Snow Shoe) and 16882 (Woodward) each have 1-4 confirmed or probable cases.

Among Centre County's bordering counties, Blair now has 504 [+6] total cases, Union has 411 [-3], Huntingdon has 387 [-1], Clearfield has 265, Mifflin has 176 [+1] and Clinton has 162 [+2].

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