Westmoreland County averaged fewer than 100 new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases per day over the weekend, adding 293 new cases since Thursday, according to Pennsylvania Department of Health data.

Despite a spike of 167 new cases reported Friday, new case totals of 56 on Saturday and 70 on Sunday kept the weekend total below 300. The 293 new cases since Thursday bring the county’s total since the start of the pandemic to 32,775.

Of the county’s case total, 22,200 are classified as confirmed cases and 10,575 are considered probable cases. There have been 96,020 negative tests so far in the county, according to the state health department.

In the fourth full week of April, the county added 591 new coronavirus cases, an average of 84.43 per day. The county had averaged 118.43 cases per day the previous week (April 15-21) when 829 new cases were reported over a seven-day span.

Over the past seven days (April 26 through May 2), the county has added 561 coronavirus cases, or an average of 80.14 per day.

Since the start of 2021, there have been 13,442 new cases reported in Westmoreland County, which equates to an average of 110.18 per day this year.

With five new coronavirus-related deaths reported since Thursday, the county’s total since the start of the pandemic increased to 746 and the total in 2021 grew to 323.

The Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office updated its COVID-19 death total on the county website at 5 a.m. Monday, April 26, increasing the total from 431 to 440.

The coroner’s count of coronavirus-related deaths in the county had remained unchanged since 5 a.m. April 6, when the last previous update increased the total from 427 to 431.

The coroner’s total includes coronavirus deaths that occur in Westmoreland County, regardless of the deceased person’s county of residence, while the state health department’s coronavirus death figures include any person considered a resident of Westmoreland County, regardless of where their death occurred.

The youngest person to die of COVID-19 in Westmoreland County was 36, according to the county coroner’s office, and the oldest was 109.

The virus-related death rate in Westmoreland County has slowed since December, which was the county’s worst month of the pandemic with 224 deaths reported (7.2 per day) and more than 10,000 new cases. The first coronavirus deaths for Westmoreland County were reported April 5, 2020, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The statewide coronavirus case total since the start of the pandemic reached 1,154,105 as of Sunday’s update to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard. That case total includes 973,655 confirmed cases in the state and 183,103 probable cases. So far, 4,401,685 people in the state have tested negative for coronavirus.

There were 96 new coronavirus-related deaths reported throughout Pennsylvania since Thursday’s update, bringing the statewide total since the start of the pandemic to 26,275.

All Pennsylvanians 16 and older are now eligible to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments, and more than 3.5 million people in the state are considered fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, according to the state health department’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.

In Westmoreland County, according to the dashboard, 107,288 people are considered fully vaccinated while another 46,044 are considered partially covered.

As of Sunday’s update, 3,527,775 people statewide were considered full vaccinations while another 1,883,819 were considered partially covered.

Westmoreland County added a COVID-19 vaccination information page to its county website, available at https://www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/2934/Vaccine-Info.

Excela Health in March introduced a vaccine registry to collect information for all individuals interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine administered through the health system, allowing anyone to join Excela’s waiting list regardless of their eligibility to receive the vaccine at the time.

Individuals can access the vaccine registry and sign up online at vaccinate.excelahealth.org or call the Excela Health vaccine information line at 724-689-1690 to register. Those who register online will be contacted by email when it’s their turn to schedule a vaccination appointment, while those who call in to join the registry will be contacted by phone to schedule an appointment.

COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout the state continued to decline over the weekend, according to the state health department.

As of Sunday’s update, there were 2,161 coronavirus patients hospitalized statewide, down from 2,318 on Thursday. Of the coronavirus patients hospitalized throughout the state as of Sunday’s update, 479 were in adult intensive care units and 258 were on ventilators.

The moving 14-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide reached a peak of 6,105.6 on Christmas Day and had steadily declined until March 19 (1,496.9) before rising for several weeks.

The 14-day average for statewide coronavirus hospitalizations decreased to 2,533.3 as of Sunday’s update.

Westmoreland County’s coronavirus hospitalization total also decreased over the weekend, dropping from 36 on Thursday to 32 as of Sunday’s update to the state health department figures. Of COVID-19 patients in Westmoreland County hospitals on Sunday, eight were in adult intensive care units and four were on ventilators, according to the state health department. Of the 96 ventilators available in the county, according to Department of Health data, 16 were in use by COVID-19 and non-COVID patients as of Sunday’s update.

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