Newly reported Covid-19 infections continued their increase in Lancaster County this week, but the number of Covid-19 inpatients here has dropped by more than a third, according to state data.
There were 643 weekly Covid-19 infections reported in Lancaster County as of Wednesday’s update to Pennsylvania’s Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard, up 8.6% from 592 the week before. The county’s test positivity rate increased from 17.1% to 19.4%.
Encouragingly, the local Covid-19 inpatient count dropped from 33.9 to 22.7, or almost exactly one-third. It has since dropped further: As of Friday, there were just 17 Covid-19 inpatients in Lancaster County, of whom two were in intensive care. One was on a ventilator, according to the state Covid-19 dashboard.
The local inpatient count had remained in the 30s for weeks since shooting up to that level in early May.
Lancaster County recorded just one new Covid-19 death between July 8 and 15, state data indicates.
Nationally, news broke Thursday that President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19. White House officials said his symptoms are mild and he is being treated with Paxlovid.
The coronavirus continues to claim an average of more than 400 American lives daily. Reported new infections — at this point, believed to be only a small fraction of actual infections — are averaging about 128,500 a day, according to the New York Times.
Hospitalizations are up 17% over the past two weeks, the Times says.
Infections are largely being driven by the BA.5 subvariant, which is more infectious than its predecessors. The CDC estimates it is causing about 80% of new cases, reports CNN.