Coronavirus stock

HARRISBURG — Lawrence County added five new positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported.

Lawrence County, which is now up to 324 cases. Wednesday’s increases includes 280 confirmed and 44 probable cases. Those are increases of three confirmed and two probable cases. Lawrence County’s death toll stayed at 11 after adding two on Friday. There were 4,718 negative tests reported in the county on Thursday.

At UPMC Jameson — the lone hospital in the county — there are three COVID-19 patients hospitalized, with one on a ventilator. 

In Lawrence County long-term care facilities, there were no new positive cases reported among patients or employees. To date, there have been 41 employees test positive and 25 patients across eight facilities. 

An additional 860 people tested positive for the virus across Pennsylvania, raising the statewide total to 111,078 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the state Health Department. Health officials reported 14 new deaths, raising the death toll to 7,176.

Daily case counts have risen nearly 70% since the beginning of July, driven primarily by increased spread in counties in the southern half of the state. The percentage of virus tests coming back positive has risen from a low of 3.3% in mid-June to over 6% now, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

The increasing infection rate prompted Gov. Tom Wolf to recently impose a new round of statewide pandemic restrictions on bars, restaurants and larger indoor gatherings.

Deaths have been trending downward.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than the state’s confirmed case count because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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