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Positive coronavirus tests in the Middletown area more than double in two weeks, state reports

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The total coronavirus cases in the Middletown area has more than doubled in just about two weeks.

On Thursday, May 21, there were 36 confirmed cases. The number was 38 on May 26. On Wednesday, June 3, the number was up to 71. The figures on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website on Friday morning has the total at 77.

It is unclear what is driving the increase.

The Middletown Home recently reported that two residents and one staff member have tested positive for the coronavirus, but those cases would not account for the large increase in the ZIP code.

If someone tests positive for the coronavirus and they put their home ZIP code as 17057, then that case is placed on the Department of Health list as being for the Middletown area, according to Department of Health officials.

April 20 was the first day the Department of Health released ZIP code-specific numbers of coronavirus cases across the state, and the 17057 ZIP code had 17 that day. 

For the 17057 ZIP code, there have been 502 negative tests, up from 325 on May 21.

Positive cases includes all people who have been confirmed to have a positive nucleic acid test for the virus that causes COVID-19. This number does not include people who are considered probable cases on the basis of symptoms, exposure or other factors only.

The 17057 ZIP code includes Middletown and Royalton and almost all of Lower Swatara and Londonderry townships. It has a total population of about 23,000 people.

• For the 17033 ZIP code, the Hershey area, there are 55 positive tests, 2 more than May 21, and 375 negative, up from 302.

• For the 17036 ZIP code, the Hummelstown area, there are 51 positive tests, 7 more than May 21, and 584 negative, up from 442.

• For the 17022 ZIP code, the Elizabethtown area, there are 91 positive tests, an increase from 82 on May 21, and 875 negative, an increase from 561. This ZIP code had previously seen some steady increases. Between May 13 and May 21, for example, there was an increase of 24 positive tests. But the increases appear to have leveled off.

• For the 17034 ZIP code, the Highspire area, there are 6 confirmed, up from 1 to 4 cases (the state does not specify the exact number when less than 4 for patient privacy) and 59 negative tests, up from 33.

• For the 17502 ZIP code, the Bainbridge area just across the Lancaster County line, there are 1 to 4 cases (the state does not specify the exact number when less than 4 for patient privacy) and 51 negative tests, 10 more than May 21.