New cases will rise as we reopen. There’s no debating that. But we do have some control in how fast this spreads by remaining aware and diligent.
To help identify where new cases are being reported and keep track of our progress, I created heatmaps showing daily new cases, 7-day averages, and 14-day totals. These maps are adjusted for population, showing the number of new cases per 100k county residents. In addition, there is a heatmap showing the number of active cases in each county.
These maps are interactive. Select (or hover over) a county to see the number of cases reported. The legend can be used as a filter by clicking on a shade.
If you find this information helpful, please share and follow! And please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or comments.
These PA COVID-19 charts and graphs were created to help users visualize and understand how the coronavirus is impacting Pennsylvania, particularly Philadelphia and the suburbs, including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.
Pa Update 11.18.20: Concerning Trends and School Closures
Sigh. My kids’ school district just announced they plan to return to virtual this coming Monday, after several weeks of hybrid instruction. As disappointed as I am to hear that news, I get it. Based on the numbers in my area, it really is a smart decision.
In fact, new cases and hospitalizations are dramatically increasing across the state. That’s not to say that all schools should shut down or go virtual – that’s an extremely complex decision that’s based on several variables. But if your school district does end up modifying its instructional model in the next few weeks, it’s likely because health officials and school administrators are concerned by the unprecedented trends briefly summarized below.
Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced 6,339 additional positive cases of COVID-19. This is the highest one day increase reported in a press release to date.
However, the totals reported through press releases are somewhat skewed as they often include cases from previous dates, in addition to the cases from the most recent 24-hr period. When this happens, cases from previous days are backdated to the date they should have been reported to the state. Backdating can provide more consistency when looking at day-to-day trends. The adjusted daily totals are reflected on the PA Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard, as well as my PA COVID-19 Statistics & Visualizations.
I typically prefer looking at this date-adjusted data. But lately, it seems more and more cases are being backdated. For example, of the 6,339 new cases reported by the state today, only 5,479 were attributed to the most recent 24-hour period. The other 860 cases were attributed to previous days. This suggests that some counties may be struggling to keep up with reporting new positives to the state. If this is the case, these date-adjusted numbers may be incomplete (how many of tomorrow’s cases will be attributed to today?), and therefore may not necessarily provide a reliable picture for trending purposes.
Regardless of the day-to-day fluctuations, though, it’s apparent that we are in the midst of a surge – something that our state has been fortunate to not experience until now. In 6 of the last 7days, the PA DOH recorded more than 5,000 daily new cases. In fact, in this last week alone, PA has reported almost 38,000 new cases*. In the 8 months that I’ve been following our state data, I’ve never seen us anywhere near these numbers.
*Updated to reflect the true most recent 7-day count, which includes 11/11-11/17. This was previously reported using numbers from 11/12-11/18, but 11/18 case numbers will not be reported until tomorrow. As a result, only 6 days of data were included in the original 32,000 figure.
On October 18, there were 847 COVID-19 hospitalizations in Pennsylvania. Today, just one month later, that number has risen more than 240% as 2,904 patients are currentlyhospitalized with COVID. Ventilator use has also risen dramatically – from 93 a month ago to 310 COVID-19 patients currently on ventilators throughout the state today. More detailed numbers, including county level breakdowns are available here.
Remember back in the spring when we had to stay home to “flatten the curve”? It’s time for us to make this a main focus again. At our current rate of increase, it won’t take long before our hospitals reach capacity. In fact, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects that Pennsylvania may have an ICU bed shortage by the middle of December, maybe sooner.
Deaths have also started to steadily increase. However, because deaths are a lagging indicator – that is, they often don’t occur until several weeks after infection – we likely won’t see the deaths from this surge of new cases for some time.
Please mask up, practice social distancing, and do what you can to flatten the curve.
According to data released by the PA Department of Health, there were 4,357 new infections reported yesterday – the highest one day total since the beginning of the pandemic.
The data suggests that these are notall just mild infections.
Hospitalizations continue to rise. The number of patients currently hospitalized increased to over 2066 – that’s a 7% increase over yesterday. This means that in the most recent 24 hours, (at least) an additional 142 patients have been admitted to Pennsylvania hospitals for COVID.
In addition, the number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators has surged in the last several weeks. On October 1, there were 60 COVID patients on ventilators in Pennsylvania. Today, 190 COVID patients are currently on ventilators throughout the state, the highest number since June.
I will be including this data in a more detailed PA hospitalization viz later today. Update 6pm: New page with hospitalization details: PA COVID-19 Hospitalization Data
Please stay vigilant, #maskup, and continue practice social distancing when possible.
Our Halloween plans may be somewhat different this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun! In fact, one of my favorite Halloween traditions inherently combines no-contact, social distancing, and sometimes even masks: BOO-ing your neighbors and friends!!
The premise is simple: Deliver some Halloween treats to two friends by sneaking to their porch, ringing their doorbell, and running away! Don’t get caught!
There are printables below for two game options:
“You’ve been BOO’ed” for kids/family/all ages, and
“You’ve been BOO-zed” for adults 21 and over.
Safety precautions to take in light of COVID: This activity is about as risky as getting any other items delivered to your house. Because the purpose is to not be seen, there shouldn’t be any face-to-face contact. However, to minimize risk even further, wear a mask (you can even incorporate this into your stealth operations… did someone say ninja?!). Also, please do not participate if you are feeling unwell or have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19.
Stay safe, and have fun!!
You've Been Boo'ed!
How to play:
Print out two copies of the “You’ve been Boo’ed!” flyer.
Gather two bags/buckets of treats. Treats can include candy, small Halloween toys, coloring books, and crafts. Add a printed flyer to each bag, to explain the game to each recipient.
Drop off the treats and flyer to two friends or neighbors without being seen! Night is often best, but it really doesn’t matter. The point is to stay out of sight so you can anonymously deliver the goodies! Tip: For those with young children, it’s often more practical to coordinate the best time to BOO! That’s totally fine too! Do what works best for your individual circumstances. 🙂
Upload your pictures/videos to social media using the hashtag #YouveBeenBooed, and be sure to tag my Facebook page: @MainLineMama and Insta: @themainlinemama
You've Been Boozed!
Who says kids should have all the fun?! This adult activity will be sure to raise spirits – bringing smiles to your friends and neighbors alike!
How to play:
Print out two copies of the “You’ve been BOO-zed!” flyer.
Gather two bottles of spirits, wine, or beer. Dress up the bottle with a fun Halloween bag or spooky décor! Add a printed flyer to each bottle, to explain the game to the recipients.
Drop off the BOOZE to friends or neighbors without being seen! Night is often best, but it really doesn’t matter. The point is to stay out of sight so you can anonymously deliver the adult beverages!
Upload your pictures/videos to social media using the hashtag #YouveBeenBoozed and be sure to tag my Facebook page: @MainLineMama and Insta: @themainlinemama
Over the last several months, I’ve provided you with pertinent COVID-19 data broken down by zip code and county, so you can keep a close eye on the transmission levels in your local areas. Many of you monitor this information daily, particularly as our children return to in-person learning.
As you can probably imagine, collecting and reporting all this data is no easy feat. The zip code data alone requires analysis of thousands of rows, daily. Thankfully, I use some powerful software that makes analysis a breeze. But just as important is direct access to the raw datasets. In fact, much of what I report to you is not possible without directly connecting to the underlying data extracts that feed into PA’s official COVID-19 Dashboard. Can you imagine manually entering thousands and thousands of rows of data every single day?! There’s no way!
PA has provided public access to this underlying data… until now.Unfortunately, over the last few days, the state has either changed the location of these source datasets or changed the permissions to obtain access. As a result, I’m currently unable to update my Pennsylvania visualizations with the most recent COVID-19 data. This includes all School Reopening Dashboards and my PA COVID-19 Data Visualizations.
I’m hoping this is just an oversight, and that the raw data will be publicly available again in the near future. Regardless of the cause, I’m actively working on obtaining access (or a work-around) so I can continue to provide you with this information.
The timing is awful. Our numbers are trending upwards. PA reported 1376 new cases today, the second day in a row that we’ve topped more than 1300, and the highest number of new cases in months. And it’s not just because of increased testing. Statewide, there are 687 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19, a 48% increase over the 7-day average of 465 reported just last week on 10/1 .
Today, PA reported that a total of 8299 Pennsylvanians have died, an additional 55 deaths since Tuesday. Meanwhile, many of our kids have just returned, or are scheduled to return to the classroom in the next few weeks.
Now, more than ever, it’s imperative for us to have a good understanding of what’s going on so we can make informed decisions. Please know that I am doing everything in my power to get this resolved. I’m so sorry for this inconvenience, and appreciate your patience as this gets sorted out.
Stay well –
Update 10/9: I have access again and have updated my dashboards!! Thanks for your patience!!
There is a lot of conflicting info out there… How deadly is COVID-19, really?
The most recent and best estimate of the infection-fatality risk (IFR) of COVID-19 is 1.45%. In other words, 1.45% (or 1 in 69) of all those infected with the disease (not just those with symptoms or those that have received positive test results) do not survive. As expected, fatality risk significantly increases with age.
The IFR is different than the case-fatality rate, which considers only confirmed cases in the calculation. When including only those that test positive, the mortality rate appears much higher. For example, Pennsylvania’s current case-fatality rate is about 7.25% (6904 total deaths/95,266 total cases reported as of 7/12/20). The IFR provides a more accurate measure since it estimates and takes into account all infections.
The following infographic shows the estimated IFR as calculated by epidemiologists at Columbia University.
It’s worth noting that death is not the only adverse outcome of the coronavirus. Many people – young and old alike – experience short and long-term health issues, the extent of which we are only just beginning to understand.
And yet, on the flip-side, a large portion of those infected have no symptoms at all. In fact, the CDC now estimates that 40% of all COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. However, even without symptoms, COVID-19 can be easily transmitted to others.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to remember that our actions impact those around us. What we do today directly (and indirectly) affect our family, friends, neighbors, and even the community as a whole.
So stay smart. Wear those masks and maintain social distancing when possible.
The US reported 63,264 new cases on July 9th – a new daily record – with concerning surges being seen across the South. Texas (11,612) , California (9,924), and Florida(8,935) account for almost half of the country’s new cases.
Although a small portion of this increase may be attributed to July 4th festivities, we likely won’t see infections from July 4th for another few days. The cases reported on July 9th are likely from infections that were transmitted between June 25 – July 2.
UPDATE 7pm: The PA Department of Health reported875new cases today on their website and on the PA COVID-19 Dashboard. However, the agency publicly announced1,009 new cases were reported today. I’m not sure where the discrepancy lies, but I’m going to keep the data as officially reported (for now anyway). I apologize for any confusion.
The PA Department of Health reported 875new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the state total to 93,876. Many of these new cases came from western and central PA, which reopened before the Philly suburbs. Allegheny county, which went green five weeks ago today on June 5, reported 141 – the most in the state.
After several weeks of steadily decreasing, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations appear to slowly be trending upward, with 656 current patients at the time of this posting. Although we obviously don’t want anyone to be hospitalized with this, a slow rise is encouraging. The main reason we stayed home was to flatten the curve and prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
To monitor the rate of change in hospitals and ultimately help keep an eye on how quickly they are filling, I’ve created a new chart showing the daily change in the total number of hospital patients. Please note that this is not the same thing as new hospitalizations, which is the number of new patients admitted each day. PA has not released data on new hospitalizations, discharges, or hospital deaths.
Click here to see more PA coronavirus data – including breakdowns of testing and hospitalizations by county – through interactive charts and maps.
Please note these visuals reflect data as reported by the PA Department of Health, which may differ slightly from than the data reported by JHU in the MLM US COVID-19 Tracker.
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To help visualize how we are doing as counties begin to open, I created a reopening heatmap.
This heatmap highlights the number of cases reported by the State of PA’s Health Department in the last 14 days, per 100k residents of the county, a key metric to Pennsylvania’s initial reopening strategy.
This map is color-coded.
Counties with over 50 cases per 100k residents are red, with darker shades representing higher numbers.
Counties with between 25-50 cases are colored yellow, aligning with the state guidance that counties should have less than 50 cases per capita before moving to this phase.
There is no clear benchmark for the green phase of reopening. But for purposes of our visualization, all counties with less than 25 cases are shaded green.
Please note, this is not PA’s official reopening map. Official guidance and details regarding Pennsylvania’s phased reopening can be found here.
There has been a sharp decline of newly reported cases in Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.
Bucks County now has the fewestreported new cases in the last 14 days per 100k residents in the Philly Metro Area;
The number of reported positive casesin Chester County has remained relatively flat.
Dauphin County, home to the PA Capital of Harrisburg, now rivals Philadelphia with the second highest number of confirmed cases per capita.
To view in full-screen mode on your Mac or PC: Click the image of the computer monitor in the upper right corner of the graphic.
Counties are starting to open!! I’m so excited, and anxious, and nervous, all at the same time…
Naturally, being the data nerd that I am, I want to follow the counties as they move from one phase to the next. So I created my own reopening heatmap using the number of cases reported by the State of PA’s Health Department in the last 14 days, per 100k residents of the county. Please note, this is not PA’s official reopening map. Official guidance and details regarding Pennsylvania’s phased reopening can be found here.
Of course, a heatmap only shows us a snapshot in time and doesn’t really give us much insight into how a county is trending. So to provide more context, I also created a few graphs similar to the ones featured on my PA COVID-19 Stats page for all counties in the state. If you’d like more details about a particular county, just use the drop down in the Individual PA County chart.
And just for fun, I’ve included an animated bar chart at the bottom of the page so you can watch the daily change in each county over time 🙂
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