The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported on Monday that 323 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed, making the statewide total to 79,121. Twenty-three new fatalities were also reported, making the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 6,243 deaths.
859 COVID-19 patients are currently being treated in the hospital, the department stated.
The recent report also confirms that two-thirds of the deaths in PA happened in long term healthcare facilities, like nursing homes. They also reported that 513,909 individuals that were tested for COVID-19 ended up negative.
They said that the number of new COVID-19 cases has dropped in recent weeks, even when state officials are now pushing for mass testing. It's been a month since the state had not reported 1,000 new cases in a day.
In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf officially issued a "Universal Testing Order" which requires all citizens and staff at nursing homes to go through a COVID-19 test at least once before July 24. Universal testing for COVID-19 already began from May 11 to May 26 in five long term care facilities, according to the state Department of Health.
According to a statement in early June by Dr. Donald Yearly, the chair for emergency medicine at UPMC, he said that fewer people are now testing positive for COVID-19. Those who have confirmed to be positive with the virus doesn't seem to be very sick at all. This has been observed in western and central Pennsylvania, with some communities in Maryland and New York that are also served by the UPMC.
Yealy also said he doesn't know precisely why the prevalence and severity of COVID-19 seem to have fallen. It could likely reflect on certain factors like weather, genetic changes in the virus, people watching themselves more closely for symptoms, and better safety and health procedures.
Stay Safe, Pennsylvania!