HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania reported its highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections in more than five months on Thursday, with the governor expressing concern but adding the state is in a much better position now to handle the influx than it was at the beginning of the pandemic.
The Department of Health said another 1,376 people had tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, the second consecutive day that new infections rose above 1,300. Thursday’s statewide case count was the highest since April 30, when Pennsylvania recorded 1,397 new infections. The average daily number of new confirmed cases is up by more than 36% over the past two weeks, according to The COVID Tracking Project, and the percentage of people testing positive is also trending up.
Health officials cite increased spread among college and university students. Penn State University alone has reported nearly 3,000 positive virus tests at its main campus in State College, and surrounding Centre County currently leads Pennsylvania in the number of infected people per capita.
“I am very concerned” about the spike in infections, Gov. Tom Wolf said at a news conference Thursday, but “we’re at a different place in terms of how we can address it.”
He said hospitals have lots of capacity, the state has plentiful supplies of personal protective equipment, and testing and tracing has been expanded. He also asserted that more people are complying with a statewide mask mandate.