A dozen staffers at Westmoreland Manor recently tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), officials at the county-owned nursing home announced Thursday.

The new cases among staff members at the Hempfield Township facility come as case totals in Westmoreland County have reached record highs.

Since mid-September, there have been 152 residents at Westmoreland Manor test positive for coronavirus, officials said, and including the new cases, 60 staff members have tested positive. Westmoreland County officials announced previously that the deaths of six Westmoreland Manor residents were associated with COVID-19.

The county on Wednesday set a new single-day high for new coronavirus cases with 273 reported, according to the county’s website, and added another 253 new cases on Thanksgiving based on the state health department’s totals.

November has been the county’s worst month of the pandemic, with total cases in the county nearly doubling since Nov. 1.

With 3,940 new cases since the start of November, the county’s case total has climbed to 8,412, according to the Pennysylvania Department of Health’s latest update, which came at noon Thursday.

That figure includes 6,583 confirmed cases and 1,829 probable cases.

There have been more new cases in the past two weeks (2,774 between Nov. 13 and Nov. 26) than in the months of September and October combined (2,657).

The county has seen a steady rise each week in average daily new cases. In the first full week of November, the county reported 502 new coronavirus cases and averaged 71.8 new cases per day. From Nov. 8-14, that average climbed to 133.8, and in the seven-day period from Nov. 15-21, there were an average of 200.4 new cases each day.

According to the county’s website, the county saw a record 1,510 new coronavirus cases in the seven-day stretch from Nov. 19-25, including a single-day record 273 positive coronavirus tests on Nov. 25. The average daily new cases during that seven-day period (215.7) sets a new high for the county.

There had been 62,107 negative tests in the county as of Thursday’s update to the Pennsylvania Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard.

According to Westmoreland County’s website, last updated at 4 p.m. Wednesday, the county had 8,159 total coronavirus cases, an increase of 273 cases from Tuesday’s update. As of the update, there had been 61,588 negative COVID-19 tests in Westmoreland County (88.3%).

The daily coronavirus figures on the Westmoreland County website typically 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 county’s site wasn’t updated Thursday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

There had been 179 deaths among Westmoreland County residents attributed to coronavirus as of Wednesday’s county update, as confirmed by the state health department through the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS). The Pennsylvania Department of Health as of its update Sunday listed 163 coronavirus deaths among Westmoreland County residents, and as of Thursday’s update that total had risen to 186 deaths.

The Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office on Tuesday increased its listed total of coronavirus deaths from 141 to 154 — 147 confirmed by testing and another seven presumed cases based on symptoms. The youngest person to die of COVID-19 in Westmoreland County was 36, according to the coroner’s office, and the oldest 109.

The coroner’s COVID-19 death total includes any individual whose death occurred in Westmoreland County, regardless of their county of residence. Of Westmoreland County’s coronavirus deaths, 102 were associated with long term care facilities, according to the state health department.

There were 82 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county as of Thursday’s update to the state health department site, up from 75 as of Sunday. Of those patients, 11 were on adult intensive care units, and there were five coronavirus patients on ventilators.

Statewide coronavirus numbers have also continued to surge with the state’s total cases reaching 336,254 as of Thursday’s update. That figure includes 312,299 confirmed cases in the state and 23,855 probable cases. Throughout Pennsylvania, 10,213 people have died of coronavirus, according to the state health department. Of those deaths, 6,430 are associated with long term care facilities.

There were 4,087 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide as of Thursday’s update from the Department of Health, 877 on adult intensive care units and 467 on ventilators.

Long term care facilities like Westmoreland Manor have been coronavirus hot spots throughout the pandemic. Statewide, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there have been 32,915 coronavirus cases among residents and 6,466 cases among staff members at 1,232 long term care facilities. There have been 6,430 coronavirus deaths in the state attributed to long term care facilities.

In Westmoreland County, according to the state health department, 36 long term care facilities have accounted for 1,028 positive COVID-19 cases among residents, 137 cases among staff members and 102 coronavirus deaths as of Thursday’s update. That’s an increase of five deaths since Tuesday’s update.

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