Butler County added one new COVID-19 death as well as 34 new confirmed cases over the past three days, but state officials said in a news conference Monday, the trend is a statewide issue.
“We've been talking about this a long time,” said Gov. Tom Wolf in the news conference. “We've been seeing the average cases counts creeping up. This upsurge, there's evidence that it's starting.”
According to Monday's report by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there have been 1,219 county residents who have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.
The county's death toll increased by one to 27 deaths with the latest death being recorded in Sunday's report.
Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said the surge is an unfortunate, but anticipated, phenomenon. She said the state is putting an emphasis on both incidence rates, which are the rate of new cases, but also percent positivity rates, which record the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive.
Currently, the state is placing counties with a percent positivity rate of 5% or more into the “substantial” risk transmission category, which is tied to the state's recommendations on things such as schools and business operations.
According to the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard, Butler County plateaued last week, and it remained in the “moderate” level of risk.
Butler County added three less new cases than the week before, and its percent positive decreased from 3.9% last week to 3.2% this week.
The county's hospitalization rate, which includes any hospitalizations of patients with COVID-like-symptoms, rose to 1% this week, an increase of .1% from last week.
Butler Health System reported an increased need for intensive care at both its hospitals this week.
Butler Memorial Hospital reported four inpatients Monday, an increase of three. The hospital has three patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and one suspected of having the virus. Two inpatients are being treated in the intensive care unit.
Clarion Hospital reported three inpatients, the same as Friday's report. The hospital has three patients who tested positive for COVID-19 with two of those being treated in the ICU.
COVID-19 REGIONAL UPDATE
The following numbers on the coronavirus pandemic were compiled from regular news releases from the state Department of Health and the Butler Health System.
COVID-19 statistics from Saturday, Sunday and Monday are:
Confirmed cases: 1,219
Probable cases: 199
Negative tests: 25,514
Butler Memorial Hospital
Total tests: 21,151
Outdoor tests: 7,933
Positive tests: 341
Total tests: 6,100
Outdoor tests: 4,848
Positive tests: 173
New cases: 4,229
Total cases: 183,315
New deaths: 43
Total deaths: 8,500
Recovered: 80 percent
Allegheny: 13,335 confirmed cases; 196,620 negative; and 392 deaths
Armstrong: 546 confirmed; 8,135 negative; and 19 deaths
Beaver: 2,080 confirmed; 23,013 negative; and 137 deaths
Clarion: 137 confirmed; 3,760 negative; and 3 deaths
Lawrence: 621 confirmed; 8,721 negative; and 25 deaths
Mercer: 785 confirmed; 13,354 negative; and 25 deaths
Venango: 119 confirmed; 5,425 negative; and 1 death
Westmoreland: 3,211 confirmed; 48,722 negative; and 71 deaths