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COVID UPDATE 10/22: Rise in COVID cases continues, CDC updates definition of close contact

October 22, 2020 News Extra

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Butler County saw 21 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday, while 30 new deaths and more than 2,000 new cases were reported statewide.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health said the 2,063 new cases are one of the highest daily increases since the pandemic began, but a data error led to cases, which should have been reported Wednesday, not being reported until Thursday.

A faulty data file sent to the reporting system by a laboratory earlier this week prevented some of the lab results from being properly reported, the department said.

The department reported the county had 1,273 confirmed cases, 231 probable cases and 26,025 negative tests. The number of deaths remained 27.

In the surrounding area, Allegheny County had 13,600 confirmed cases, 929 probable cases, 201,182 negative tests and 399 deaths; Armstrong County had 565 confirmed cases, 37 probable cases, 8,275 negative tests and 20 deaths; Beaver County had 2,134 confirmed cases, 73 probable cases, 23,581 negative tests and 139 deaths; Clarion County had 148 confirmed cases, 49 probable cases, 3,800 negative tests and three deaths; Lawrence County had 654 confirmed cases, 123 probable cases, 8,895 negative tests and 29 deaths; Mercer County had 822 confirmed cases, 126 probable cases, 13,597 negative tests and 25 deaths; Venango County had 134 confirmed cases, 58 probable cases, 5,507 negative tests and one death; and Westmoreland County had 3,423 confirmed cases, 413 probable cases, 49,595 negative tests and 78 deaths.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its definition of close contact.

Until now, the CDC said close contact meant spending 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who tested positive.

Close contact is now a total of 15 minutes or more, including shorter, but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, according to the CDC.

The CDC continues to advise that anyone who has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient should quarantine for two weeks.

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