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COVID cases increase in Lycoming County

The county numbers have increased again with eight new positive cases confirmed Thursday and 11 cases confirmed Friday. No specifics about where these confirmed cases were determined by officials or the state Department of Health website.

“It is evident that there is more testing going on,” Jeff Hutchins, director of public safety, said.

He said with that, numbers have to be “balanced out”

“We balance it against the amount of negatives,” he said. “There might have been 8 and 11 positives but there were also 137 negatives.”

The state Department of Health website does include however that there is another nursing home in Lycoming County that has over five confirmed cases from the last update as well as an increase in cases among residents and employees.

There are now a total of 96 cases among residents and 20 cases among long-term or nursing care facility staff.

The number of deaths has not increased according to the website.

According to Dr. Rutul Dalal, UPMC medical director of infectious diseases in the Susquehanna Region, added that across the UPMC system, they are treating 161 positive COVID-19 patients, 97 patients in southwestern parts of the state, 15 in northwestern parts of the state, 3 in northcentral Pennsylvania and 46 in southcentral parts of the state and Maryland.

“Because of our extensive planning and preparation, UPMC facilities are safe and staff are well-equipped and know how to properly care for patients with COVID-19,” Dalal said.

He added that data is showing that as a community many are doing a “good job” at protecting each other though these measures need to continue in order to control the spread.

“We need to keep this up. One of the best ways we’ve found for the public to help is to follow public health guidance and wear a mask in public spaces, stay home if you’re not feeling well and wash your hands frequently. Wear a mask in public, always,” he added. “Wear it properly, covering your nose and mouth. Stay home when sick. Wash your hands. And stay extra vigilant to protect the elderly and others who are vulnerable. You can’t always tell who is vulnerable, so follow these steps, always. Despite more people testing positive, we are not seeing the same pattern of increase of severe disease. I believe we can keep it that way if we focus on protecting the frail elderly and immunocompromized.”

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