coronavirus_updates

Covid-19 numbers continued to climb in Lancaster County last week, but the rate of increase is beginning to taper.

There were 935 new cases of Covid-19 in the county for the seven days ending Sept. 3, up by 97 cases, or 11.6%, over the week prior. The previous increase was 28%.

Similarly, average Covid-19 hospitalizations here increased by 17% to 64, versus a 35% increase the week before.

Click to enlarge. (Source: Pa. Dept. of Health)

As of Wednesday, Lancaster County's Covid-19 inpatient count had jumped to 85, of whom 10 were in intensive care and four on ventilators, according to the Pennsylvania Covid-19 dashboard. Lancaster General Hospital, the county's largest, accounted for 56 of those patients (66%), seven of the 10 ICU patients and all four of those on ventilators, according to Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health's dashboard.

County coronavirus deaths jumped sharply. There were 11 such deaths for the week of Aug. 29 to Sept. 4, versus five the week prior. Deaths are a lagging indicator, typically rising after corresponding rises in case counts and hospitalizations.

LG Health continues to advocate for vaccination, social distancing and masking, including in schools. Pennsylvania's school mask mandate began this week, despite opposition from Republican politicians, vocal parents in many school districts and in some cases, districts themselves.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf cited the mask mandate as one of four key components of the state's plan to ensure safe in-person schooling. The others are enhanced funding through the American Rescue Plan; and two initiatives announced last month: Free weekly Covid-19 testing for K-12 schools and an order allowing schools to recruit vaccine providers for on-site vaccine clinics.

Tim Stuhldreher