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Flu cases rise and COVID downturn reverses in Delaware County and Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has finally updated its flu statistics, which show the disease increased dramatically in the second half of November.

The number of documented cases has quickly grown statewide to nearly 50,000, including 2,485 in Delaware County. Only Philadelphia, Allegheny, and Montgomery counties have more. These counties have more residents than Delaware County. The only more populous county in the state than Delaware is Bucks, which numbers just 1,815.

COURTESY OF PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HEALTH
COURTESY OF PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HEALTH

The Department of Health’s COVID cases table shows that one flu season has already left marks unseen in the past 10 years. Visits to the emergency room have also increased significantly in recent weeks.

There have been seven deaths nationwide during the flu season, all among people aged 65 and older. The state does not provide details on who died and where the deaths occurred.

The Delaware County Health Department does not provide statistics on the flu

COVID Statistics

These are the latest COVID-19 statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

• 499 new cases in Delaware County over the past week and 10,730 statewide, both trending upwards

• 68.0 and 60.6 new cases rates per 100,000 for Delco and the state, both expected increases.

• 10.3% and 9.9% positivity rates in the county and state, respectively, more than 1 point higher at Delco and seven-tenths higher statewide.

• 47 hospitalized with COVID in the county, a one-day snapshot, more than double the number for the previous week.

• 11 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents during the week in the county, which equates to approximately 62 new patients per week, across the board.

• 1,269 hospitalized with COVID in the state, up from 140 in one week and back to near peak.

• 5 Delaware County resident deaths due to COVID or as a contributing factor for a total of 1,990 since March 2020.

• 116 statewide COVID deaths, down significantly. The pandemic total is 48,387.

• 957 additional county residents “fully vaccinated,” totaling 432,615 over the entire two-year episode of immunization opportunities. The numbers are declining weekly.

• 3,448 other county residents receive the bivalent boosters for a total of 82,220. Numbers in this category continue to decline faster than ‘fully vaccinated’.

• Moderate: COVID risk in Delaware County.

• BQ.1 and BQ1.1 now account for approximately 60% of cases in the US and mid-Atlantic. There are now 12 variants that accommodate all domestic cases.

• The first variant with a designation that does not begin with “B” is also gaining ground. XBB is 5.5% of cases.

• 43,300 daily cases nationwide for the past week, nearly flat after five weeks of modest increases.

• The second omicron surge peaked on July 16 with a seven-day moving average of 129,889. The lowest week of the year was in late March, with a daily case average of 27,465. The low point after the start of the pandemic in spring 2020 was 11,745 in June 2021.

Total deaths are based on residence, not where someone dies. Neither the Delaware County Health Department nor the Medical Examiner’s Office release details of cases, hospitalizations, or deaths within the county.

The initial Omicron surge tailed off in mid-February and the second surge, based on offshoots of the original Omicron, began about two months later.

The county health department is offering free at-home COVID testing kits. All information can be found at www.delcopa.gov/health.

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