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A sign of progress on coronavirus? For first time, Pennsylvania's new cases are fewer than day before

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For the first time, the number of coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania did not exceed the increase from the day before in numbers released Friday — a jump of 531 cases to 2,218, compared to a leap of 560 on Thursday. However, 6 more deaths were reported to reach 22 statewide.

The newly reported deaths were in Delaware County (its first 3 deaths), Lehigh, Montgomery and Luzerne.

The state Department of Health continues to ask Pennsylvanians to stay home as much as possible. Try to get groceries once per week instead of daily. Freedom of travel remains, but refrain from non-essential travel, according to health.pa.gov. Essential travel includes things like commuting to an essential job, picking up supplies like groceries and medicine, and checking on family and pets in other households. Do not host or attend gatherings. 

Later Friday, Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine said the slower rate of new coronavirus cases announced Friday is not “statistically significant.”

“We would need to see a consistent decline in new cases over time to show that maybe we have been able to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. So it’s really too early to tell or to make any conclusions from the data at this time,” she said.

The number of cases increased statewide by 560 on Thursday, 276 on Wednesday, 207 on Tuesday, 165 on Monday, 108 on Sunday, 103 on Saturday, 73 on Friday, and 52 on Thursday.

Dauphin County increased to 18 cases in numbers released Friday, up from 13.

On Friday, there were huge increases in Philadelphia County (up 128 to 530) and Montgomery County (up 92 to 374). 

York County went from 21 cases to 29 cases. Lancaster County went from 21 to 33. Cumberland County went from 15 to 16 cases.

Cases now have been reported in 50 counties of the state’s 67 counties, up from 48. Northumberland and Union counties reported their first cases.

There have been 21,016 negative tests for the coronavirus.

Positive cases by age range 

• 0-4 years, less than 1 percent

•​ 5 to 12 years, less than 1 percent

•​ 13 to 18 years, 2 percent

•​ 19 to 24 years, 11 percent

•​ 25 to 49 years, 40 percent

•​ 50 to 64 years, ​28 percent

•​ 65 and older, ​18 percent

Hospitalizations by age range

• 0-4 years, less than 1 percent

•​ 5 to 12 years, 0 percent

•​ 13 to 18 years, 1 percent

•​ 19 to 24 years, 3 percent

•​ 25 to 49 years, 21 percent

•​ 50 to 64 years, ​27 percent

•​ 65 and older, ​48 percent

Counties impacted

• Adams (8, up 1)

• Allegheny (158, up 25, 2 deaths)

• Armstrong (1, no change)

• Beaver (14, up 1)

• Berks (65, up 29)

• Blair (1, no change)

• Bradford (2, no change)

• Bucks (124, up 17)

• Butler (26, up 7, 1 death)

• Cambria (1, no change)

• Carbon (2, no change)

• Centre (11, up 2)

• Chester (107, up 23)

• Clearfield (2, no change)

• Columbia (3, no change)

• Crawford (1, no change)

• Cumberland (16, up 1)

• Dauphin (18, up 5)

• Delaware (185, up 29, 3 deaths)

• Erie (7, up 3)

• Fayette (9, up 1)

• Franklin (5, no change)

• Greene (4, up 1)

• Indiana (2, up 1)

• Juniata (1, no change)

• Lackawanna (35, up 7, 2 deaths)

• Lancaster (33, up 12)

• Lawrence (4, up 3)

• Lebanon (12, up 8)

• Lehigh (93, up 30, 2 deaths)

• Luzerne (55, up 19, 2 deaths)

• Lycoming (2, up 1)

• Mercer (4, up 1)

• Monroe (98, up 31, 2 deaths)

• Montgomery (374, up 92, 3 deaths)

• Montour (4, no change)

• Northampton (79 up 23, 3 deaths)

• Northumberland (1, first case)

• Philadelphia (530, up 128, 2 deaths)

• Pike (23, up 8)

• Potter (1, no change)

• Schuylkill (13, up 4)

• Somerset (2, no change)

• Susquehanna (1, no change)

• Warren (1, no change)

• Washington (14, up 2)

• Wayne (6, no change)

• Westmoreland (30, up 6)

• York (29, up 8)

The Department of Health continues to stress the following:

• Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands.

• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

• Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cellphones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.

• Contain: If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.