Luzerne County COVID-19 cases at 384; 5th death is reported

By Bill O’Boyle - [email protected]

HARRISBURG — The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Luzerne County is surging, with 384 cases and 5 recorded deaths, according to the latest report from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Luzerne County has pulled away from the number of cases in Monroe County, which has 321 confirmed cases and 10 deaths. Lackawanna County is reporting 108 confirmed cases and 3 deaths.

The numbers were confirmed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health on Thursday, which reported that there are 1,211 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 7,016 in 62 counties.

The department also reported 16 new deaths among positive cases, bringing the statewide total to 90.

Nate Wardle, Press Secretary at the Department of Health, said the number of COVID-19 cases is rising in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“This includes in Luzerne County, which has seen cases increase significantly over the last several days,” Wardle said. “We do expect locations with higher populations, such as Luzerne County, to see more cases due to the number of people in the area. There have been several steps taken, such as the stay-at-home orders to work to decrease the spread of COVID-19.”

Wardle said what is really needed is for people stay calm, stay home and stay safe.

“People should be staying home unless it is essential they go out, and should be limiting their trips to as few as possible,” Wardle said.

Wardle said reasons for the spike in Luzerne County have not been identified.

“Not that we can pin down,” Wardle said. “We have seen the highest numbers of cases typically in the southeast and now the northeast, which makes sense based on the issues being seen in New York state and New York City.”

Wardle added, “Now, it is important to note that cases are counted by county of residence, so the issues from other states affecting Pennsylvania would be in spreading the disease.“

Across the state

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Thursday said all people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.

“The continued rise in cases combined with our increasing deaths from COVID-19 reflects the seriousness of this situation,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. “We need everyone to listen to the orders in place and to stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We know that these prolonged mitigation effects have been difficult for everyone, but it is essential that everyone follows these orders and does not go out unless they absolutely must.”

There are 47,698 patients who have tested negative to date.

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

Nearly 1% are aged 0-4;

Nearly 1% are aged 5-12;

1% are aged 13-18;

Nearly 9% are aged 19-24;

Nearly 41% are aged 25-49;

Nearly 29% are aged 50-64; and

19% are aged 65 or older.

Most of the patients hospitalized are aged 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. There have been no pediatric deaths to date. More data is available here.

All non-life-sustaining businesses are ordered to be closed and schools are closed statewide indefinitely. Currently the entire state is under a stay-at-home order.

By Bill O’Boyle

[email protected]

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.