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COVID Update 2/22: Nation close to 500,000 COVID deaths; county sees case decline

February 22, 2021 News Extra

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Despite seeing declines around the United States in the number of new coronavirus cases, the nation reached a new milestone: 500,000 deaths from the virus.

On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported COVID-19's death toll at 497,415 people. The nation will likely reach the 500,000-death-toll milestone Tuesday.

Despite this, many places in the country, including Butler County, have been seeing declining COVID-19 figures.

On Monday, Butler County saw a single-digit addition of new confirmed COVID-19 cases and a second day without any new deaths from the virus.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the county has had 8,813 residents test positive for COVID-19. The data showed that, on Sunday, the county added 17 new confirmed cases and, on Monday, it added six cases.

The county has not seen a daily COVID-19 single-digit increase since Oct. 19. At that time, the county had only 1,219 residents who had tested positive and 27 deaths.

As of Monday, the county's death toll included 363 residents, but that number has not increased since Saturday, when the death of three residents raised that number.

While the daily COVID-19 numbers have reached single digits, Butler Memorial Hospital's inpatient numbers have risen slightly.

Butler Memorial reported having only nine inpatients with either a confirmed or suspected case last Wednesday.

Butler Memorial reported Monday it had 14 inpatients with four of them being treated in the intensive-care unit. The hospital also reported two deaths to the Department of Health, one Saturday and one Sunday.

Despite the new increases at the hospital, the county's average hospitalizations have decreased, according to the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard.

The dashboard, which releases new data every Monday, tracks COVID-19 data by weeklong periods spanning from Friday to Thursday.

According to Monday's report, last week's average number of daily hospitalizations was 12.4, a decrease of 11.2.

The data also showed decreases in new confirmed cases, incidence rate and patients on a ventilator. However, the report also showed that an increase in the number of hospital emergency room visits have been because of COVID-19.

The county's percent positivity rate has also declined in recent weeks, and it did so again Monday. The county's percent positivity rate was 6.4%, reduced from 5.2% the week before.

The state has said in the past that the percent positivity rate, among many other data points, helps gauge the trajectory of the virus' spread.

As of Monday, the state's percent positivity rate was 6.5%, down from 8% from the week before.

COVID Regional Update

The following numbers on the coronavirus pandemic were compiled from regular news releases from the state Department of Health and Butler Health System.

COVID-19 statistics from Sunday and Monday are:

Butler County

Confirmed cases: 8,813

Probable cases: 4,892

Negative tests: 45,513

Deaths: 363

Butler Memorial Hospital

Inpatients: 14

Suspected: 1

Confirmed: 13

ICU: 4

Total tests: 39,521

Outdoor tests: 16,299

Positive tests: 2,695

Clarion Hospital

Inpatients: 1

Suspected: 0

Confirmed: 1

ICU: 1

Total tests: 11,864

Outdoor tests: 10,028

Positive tests: 1,895


New cases: 4,948

Total cases: 915,018

New deaths: 44

Total deaths: 23,614

Recovered: 89%

Surrounding Counties

Allegheny: 58,842 confirmed cases; 354,078 negative; and 1,689 deaths

Armstrong: 3,833 confirmed cases; 14,506 negative; and 116 deaths

Beaver: 10,132 confirmed cases; 44,506 negative; and 342 deaths

Clarion: 1,709 confirmed cases; 7,823 negative; and 81 deaths

Lawrence: 4,507 confirmed cases; 17,750 negative; and 180 deaths

Mercer: 7,935 confirmed cases; 26,526 negative; and 237 deaths

Venango: 2,669 confirmed cases; 10,274 negative; and 80 deaths

Westmoreland: 18,706 confirmed cases; 85,590 negative; and 664 deaths

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