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Coronavirus in Pa.: Nearly 17,000 new cases, 261 more deaths reported as year begins – pennlive.com

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 16,967 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, covering a two-day period because of the holiday.

Across Pennsylvania, 657,292 people have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic almost a year ago.

Statewide, 16,239 total deaths have been tied to the virus, including 261 reported Thursday and Friday, the health department said.

Close to a third of all COVID-19 deaths so far in the state happened in December alone.

Can’t see the chart? Click here.

The number of hospitalizations also has risen dramatically in recent weeks. According to the health department, 5,624 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized. Of those, 1,172 are in intensive care units.

A temporary state shutdown on indoor dining, youth sports, indoor gyms and casinos ends on Monday.

Testing has increased from the spring, but so has the percentage of those tests proving to be positive. Of those who’ve had a test in seven days ending Dec. 31, 15% were positive. Anything over 5% shows significant community spread of COVID-19.

Most of the patients hospitalized, and most of those who’ve died, are ages 65 or older, the state said. Nursing homes have struggled with the spread of the virus.

Can’t see the chart? Click here.

The health department reports 67% of those who have contracted the coronavirus have recovered. The state considers patients to have recovered when they are 30 days past the point of infection or the onset of symptoms. Around 3.3 million people have had negative tests.

Coronavirus vaccinations have started, with health care workers getting the first shots.

The state health department has rolled out a dashboard that documents how many COVID-19 vaccines have been administered.

More:

Hospitals prepare for a post-holiday surge of COVID-19 cases, deaths

US hits 20 million mark in coronavirus cases

Report documents poor coronavirus response in Pa. veterans home

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