A rapid rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) case totals in Westmoreland County slowed slightly on Friday after multiple recent instances of daily new cases topping 120, according to statistics provided by the county on its website.
As of 4 p.m. Friday, the county had 3,900 total coronavirus cases, an increase of 64 cases from Thursday and an increase of 699 from the previous Thursday. That total includes 3,462 confirmed cases and 438 probable. As of Thursday’s update, there have been 49,924 negative COVID-19 tests in Westmoreland County (92.75%).
The daily coronavirus figures on the Westmoreland County website differ slightly from those on the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard, which is updated at noon each day. The county’s site is updated at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with a weekend recap included with each Monday’s update.
The state health department’s most recent update on Sunday reported the county had reached 4,031 total cases — 3,568 confirmed and 463 probable — with 50,644 negative tests (92.62%).
There had been 80 deaths among Westmoreland County residents attributed to coronavirus as of Friday’s county update, as confirmed by the state health department through the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) — an increase of two compared to the previous day. The Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office listed a total of 77 coronavirus deaths as of Friday — 70 confirmed by testing and another seven presumed cases based on symptoms. The Pennsylvania Department of Health’s most recent update on Sunday reported 83 coronavirus deaths in Westmoreland County.
The coroner’s COVID-19 death total includes any individual whose death occurred in Westmoreland County, regardless of their county of residence.
According to the state health department, as of Sunday there were 40 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county — a decrease of six from Thursday — and four coronavirus patients on ventilators.
Westmoreland County officials, as of the most recent official news release Thursday, reported 125 residents and 35 staff members, including contracted staff, at Westmoreland Manor have tested positive for COVID-19 and six residents have died amid the outbreak.
“A majority of residents continue to remain asymptomatic or exhibit few symptoms,” according to Thursday’s news release. “Currently, three residents are hospitalized.”
All staff and residents that tested negative at the county-owned nursing home in Hempfield Township continue to be retested every three to seven days, and retesting will continue until the facility experiences a period of at least 14 days without any new coronavirus cases since the most recent positive test.
After not recording a single case of coronavirus among residents through the first six months of the coronavirus pandemic, Westmoreland Manor saw a surge of positive tests beginning Sept. 16. County officials have not disclosed how the recent outbreak at the manor began. In-person visitation at the facility had been halted amid the pandemic before resuming just a few weeks prior to the first positive tests among residents.
County officials halted in-person visitation at Westmoreland Manor again on Sept. 22.
The county has also been dealing with an outbreak of the virus at the nearby Westmoreland County Prison, where the county’s last official update listed 11 employees and 45 inmates, all housed in the same unit, have tested positive for the virus. That housing unit remains on lockdown amid the outbreak.
The entire prison went on lockdown Oct. 7 after officials learned of two positive coronavirus test results among correctional officers at the Hempfield Township facility.
Two inmates at the prison tested positive for coronavirus over the summer. In both isolated instances, the individuals who tested positive were new arrivals at the facility who had been isolated in quarantine cells and had no contact with other inmates.