The number of newly reported coronavirus cases in Lancaster County has declined over the past two weeks, but hospitalization rates have yet to follow.
There were 543 new Covid-19 cases here over the past seven days, versus 664 the week before and 763 the week before that, according to Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard, which is updated weekly on Wednesdays.
The county’s average Covid-19 inpatient count increased to 39.9 from 36.9 the previous week, the dashboard said. As of Wednesday, there were 36 patients hospitalized for Covid-19 in Lancaster County, of whom six were in intensive care and one was on a ventilator, according to the state’s main Covid-19 dashboard.
Hospitalization is typically a lagging indicator, meaning counts rise following case increases and drop following case decreases. Deaths typically lag a bit behind hospitalizations.
The state has reported one Lancaster County Covid-19 death in June so far, versus a total of 21 in May.
The state’s fatality numbers include county residents who died at facilities outside county borders. The county coroner counts only local deaths.
Health experts say reported case counts are only a fraction of actual cases, as more people are testing themselves at home or not testing at all. Officials are focusing on hospitalizations as the best measure of the pandemic: Based on Lancaster County’s inpatient count, the CDC rates the Covid-19 community impact here as low.
Nationwide, two omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, are spreading rapidly, reports the New York Times. They appear to be more contagious, but so far, the evidence does not indicate they cause more severe disease, the Times said.
The U.S. has been averaging about 100,000 new reported Covid-19 cases a day, the Times said. Infection rates are declining in the Northeast but picking up in the rest of the U.S. Covid-19 deaths are trending around 250 to 400 per day.