Probable COVID-19 Deaths Added to Statewide Totals
Dr. Rachel Levine clarified the new methods being employed
PA Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine reported today that there were 1,296 additional positive cases of COVID-19, giving PA a total of 34,528 cases statewide. Out of the 1,296 cases, 981 were confirmed, while 315 are probable cases. There have been 1,564 total deaths statewide. 132,323 patients have tested negative to date.
Levine noted that they would now be reporting on both confirmed deaths and probable deaths due to COVID-19. Similar to active cases, a confirmed death will be of someone who has tested positive for the disease, while a probable death with be designated for someone whose death certificate lists COVID-19 as a cause or contributing but has not tested positive for the disease.
Out of the statewide number of 1,564 deaths, 1,264 are confirmed, and 300 are listed as probable deaths.
Due to the inclusion of these numbers, Pennsylvania's total number of deaths has increased 20% suddenly. Levine clarified that "it's important to remember that this increase did not happen overnight, but it is the culmination of our efforts to continue to bring to the public the most accurate data possible."
At Health.pa.gov, new animated maps were recently added, like the one below:
When questioned about antibody testing and a possible larger-than-expected Dr. Levine calmly explained "we don't quite know what antibody testing means. We have reviewed that study from California. There are some interesting pieces of information in the study but there are also some concerns in terms of the methods and how it was done, and the statistics." She concluded "that's the way science works. A study will come out and we'll analyze it. Well look at other studies and repeat studies," she explained, adding that they were currently looking at antibody testing.