HARRISBURG – The number of COVID-19 cases in the area, and across the state, shows signs of accelerating over the last week.

Statewide, the number of new cases reported yesterday (Tuesday) stood at 1,342 for the single day.

Locally, Clarion County’s numbers of virus cases increased from 143 a week ago to 165 yesterday. Three deaths have been reported during the pandemic in the county.

The number of cases and the death toll in Armstrong County increased over the last week, with case totals going from 473 to 523, and the number of deaths increasing from 18 to 19.

Butler County continues to lead the way in the region in the number of cases, rising from 1,150 a week ago to 1,298 this week. Twenty-five deaths have been attributed to the virus so far in that county.

Also in the area, Forest County reported its first COVID-related death in the last week, as the case count there rose from 15 to 17.

Venango County cases rose from 102 to 128 in the last week, while Jefferson County reported a rise from 121 to 138 cases. One death has been attributed to coronavirus in Venango so far during the pandemic, while three have been reported in Jefferson.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that there were 1,342 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 174,646.

Across the state during the pandemic, 8,384 total deaths have been attributed to COVID-19, a daily increase of 16 new deaths reported.

“We know that congregation, especially in college and university settings, yields increased case counts. The mitigation efforts in place now are essential to flattening the curve and saving lives,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and following the requirements set forth in the orders for bars and restaurants, gatherings, and telework will help keep our case counts low. Make your phone part of the fight against COVID-19 today by downloading the COVID Alert PA exposure notification app. Together, as Pennsylvanians, all of our efforts are designed to support our communities to ensure that cases of COVID-19 remain low.”

Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19, officials said.

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

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• Approximately 1 percent are ages 0-4.

• Nearly 2 percent are ages 5-12.

• Nearly 5 percent are ages 13-18.

• Nearly 14 percent are ages 19-24.

• Nearly 36 percent are ages 25-49.

• Approximately 21 percent are ages 50-64.

• Approximately 21 percent are ages 65 or older.

Most of the patients hospitalized in the state are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

The department is seeing significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds.

In nursing and personal care homes across Pennsylvania, there have been 24,060 resident cases of COVID-19, and 5,311 cases among employees, for a total of 29,371 at 1,010 distinct facilities in 61 counties. Out of the state’s total deaths, 5,553 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.

Approximately 11,405 of Pennsylvania’s total cases are among health care workers.

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