Pennsylvania health officials reported the 53rd Schuylkill County death linked to coronavirus on Thursday.
The sad news marks the first time in nearly 2 months that someone locally has passed away after contracting COVID-19.
According to information from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health COVID-19 Dashboard, the latest death in Schuylkill County happened on Sept. 24 but wasn’t added to the death toll until Thursday.
The last COVID-19 death in Schuylkill County before this most recent case happened on Aug. 9. And 9 of the local deaths attributed to COVID-19 have happened since the beginning of July. The 43 others were reported closer to the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 8 people remain in local hospitals being treated for symptoms of the coronavirus.
Schuylkill County COVID Death Toll at 53
The death of a Schuylkill County resident from COVID-19 complications comes amid a recent uptick in the number of daily positive tests being reported the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health.
In its last 10 days reported, dating back to Sept. 21, there have been 118 positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Schuylkill County. In 6 of the last 8 days, daily totals were more than 10, including another 17 on Sept. 30, the most recent date reported by the state.
There haven’t been this many positive tests returned to Schuylkill County residents since mid-May.
Testing, since then, has increased dramatically, so the chances of more positive results increases. Since Sept. 10, 2,107 Schuylkill County residents have tested negative for COVID-19. In that time a total of 161 people have tested positively.
Part of the recent uptick in positive cases locally is tied, in part, to a small outbreak at one local nursing home, Schuylkill Manor in Pottsville.
State health officials confirmed to The Canary earlier this week that at least 32 cases can be linked to long term care facilities in Schuylkill County. The DOH data shows close to 25 confirmed cases but we’re actively trying to confirm potentially more linked to LTCFs here locally.