Pennsylvania COVID Cases Rise to Over 2,000 in a Single Day as Mandates End

A pedestrian removes a protective mask worn as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus in Philadelphia, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

By Brett Pransky

April 20, 2022

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 2,018 new cases of COVID-19, a daily number that we haven’t seen since late February.

Hospitalizations increased also, with the statewide number climbing over 500 again after dipping under it in recent weeks. According to Tuesday’s report, 61 of those patients are in the ICU, and 35 are on ventilators.

It is too early to say if this one-day jump is a sign of a trend, and early numbers on Wednesday are a bit lower, coming in at 1,217 based on the most recent count from the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

Reaction to the increasing numbers in Pennsylvania has been mixed. Philadelphia, for example, has reinstated its indoor mask mandate, yet after a Trump-appointed judge in Florida voided the federal mandate for planes and other public transportation, many related businesses are dropping mask requirements as quickly as they can get the announcements out. Rideshare companies Lyft and Uber have gone as far as to extend the maskless rides to the front seat as well.

According to the CDC’s website, just under 78% of Pennsylvanians over 18 years of age are vaccinated, and 7.8 million Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated.

It remains to be seen if recent numbers indicate a trend of any kind, but increasing case counts coupled with loosening safety protocols certainly create an environment in which a resurgence of the virus would be difficult to address.

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