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COVID-19 Stats Data Visualizations Parenting

PA Update 11.18.20: Concerning Trends and School Closures

Concerning Trends and School Closures

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.

To see the stats for the zip codes in your district, check out: PA School District Reopening Dashboard

New cases

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 7 days, 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 currently hospitalized 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.

As always, stay well ~


COVID-19 Stats Data Visualizations

PA COVID-19 Update 11.11.20

PA COVID-19 Update 11.11.20

PA COVID-19 Update - 11.11.20

Another record-breaking day in PA.

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 not all 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.

Stay well~

Pennsylvania Covid Data

data snapshot 11.11.20

PA COVID-19 Update 11.11.20
Key COVID-19 data metrics continue to rise throughout Pennsylvania.
COVID-19 Stats Data Visualizations

Data Update: Pennsylvania COVID-19 Data Access


Data Update: Pennsylvania COVID-19 Data Access

UpdateOver 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 . 

PA Covid-19 Hospitalizations October 8
There were 687 COVID-19 hospitalizations in PA on October 8, 2020. This is 48% more than the 7-day average reported just one week prior, on October 1.  Source: PA COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

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!!

COVID-19 Stats Data Visualizations

PA COVID-19 Activity Heatmaps

PA Heatmap of New Cases

Heatmaps of New & Active Cases

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. 

Stay well,


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