Westmoreland County’s number of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) grew to 11 on Tuesday, according to updated figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
The total represents an increase from eight confirmed cases reported a day earlier by county officials.
As of noon Tuesday, the state Department of Health confirmed 207 additional positive cases of coronavirus, along with four new deaths, bringing the statewide total to 851 cases in 40 counties and seven deaths in five counties. Another 8,643 patients have tested negative for the disease, officials said.
“Our notable increase in cases over the past few days indicate we need everyone to take COVID-19 seriously,” state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a news release. “Pennsylvanians have a very important job right now — stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We have seen case counts continue to increase and the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home.”
Locally, a resident at Loyalhanna Care Center in Derry Township has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a letter posted on the facility’s Facebook page. The center said it was notified of the positive test by the state Department of Health.
Loyalhanna Care Center administrator Kelly Pynos told the Tribune-Review that the woman was transferred Monday to a local hospital. As of Tuesday night, no other residents at the skilled nursing facility had shown coronavirus-related symptoms.
“This resident was identified through our monitoring process for this virus and is currently in the hospital for treatment of her symptoms,” a spokesperson for Loyalhanna Care Center said. “We are working closely with our local, state and federal health departments as we continue to actively monitor our residents for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
“The health and welfare of our residents and employees is our highest priority as we continue to process the information and implement additional measures to mitigate the spread of this virus through our facility.”
Pynos said the center suspended visitors starting on March 13. She said in the letter that staff members continue to follow public health recommendations to reduce the spread of the virus, including “strict hand-washing procedures, and in many circumstances, wearing facemasks, gowns and gloves when interacting with residents who are sick.”
Westmoreland County officials have expressed concerns about the lack of details regarding the county’s cases, such as municipalities where those who have tested positive reside. That information, officials said, could help alert emergency responders to possible virus “hot spots” and show areas where equipment shortages could be likely in the near future.