Pennsylvania health officials report 2,219 additional COVID-19 cases marking highest 1-day total

Friday, October 23, 2020
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Friday's COVID case count is the largest one-day total and daily increases are now comparable with what the state saw in April.

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed an additional 2,219 positive cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the statewide total to 190,579.

Friday's case count is the largest one-day total and daily increases are now comparable with what the state saw in April, officials said.

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With 33 new deaths reported, there are 8,625 total deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Pennsylvania.

On Friday, devastated family members shared their stories of heartbreak in front of empty chairs on Independence Mall. The chairs were placed in remembrance of more than 8,500 Pennsylvanians lost to COVID-19.

The event was organized by the group COVID Survivors for Change, and featured local families in a virtual ceremony.

"I later did learn that a nurse supported her in her final moments and for that I am eternally grateful," said Bari Himes, whose mother died from COVID-19 after surviving a years-long battle with breast cancer.

And with the rise in cases, some business owners are worried.

"I'm afraid they're going to shut us down again," said Stavros Vasiliadis, owner of Bodega Bar and Kitchen in Center City.

He said things are going OK for now at his restaurant, which opened in January, but he says he's very concerned about what may be coming this winter.

"I have to open up every day. I have to cook. I have to sell food. I have to sell drinks to keep afloat. I don't have a paycheck coming in," said Vasiliadis.

According to officials, there are 2,200,868 people who have tested negative to date. Of those who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:

- Approximately 1% are ages 0-4;

- Nearly 2% are ages 5-12;

- Approximately 5% are ages 13-18;

- Nearly 14% are ages 19-24;

- Nearly 36% are ages 25-49;

- Approximately 21% are ages 50-64; and

- Nearly 21% are ages 65 or older.

Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

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Health officials said there are significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds.

Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home.