Editor’s Note: We are standardizing the format for daily COVID-19 case data updates. These articles may feel repetitious but we want each one to stand alone in terms of providing maximum context around the data. This is the update for Thursday, May 21.
Lebanon County is now tracking at 887 cases of the novel coronavirus, according to current Pennsylvania Department of Health data, with 3,860 negative tests.
The Department of Health is reporting 24 deaths at this time, while Lebanon County is reporting 19. According to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard, the 19 deaths are linked to residents from Lebanon County municipalities as follows:
- Bethel Township (1)
- City of Lebanon (2)
- Cleona Borough (1)
- Cornwall Borough (2)
- Myerstown Borough (9)
- North Cornwall Township (1)
- South Lebanon Township (1)
- Swatara Township (2)
The state began breaking cases out by ZIP code in mid-April. Find the full dashboard here or see below for how cases looked across Lebanon County ZIP codes as of the last time the data was updated.
- 17003 (Annville) – 27 positive, 178 negative, five probable
- 17010 (Campbelltown) – zero positive, eight negative, zero probable
- 17016 (Cornwall) – 11 positive, 24 negative, zero probable
- 17026 (Fredericksburg) – 14 positive, 58 negative, 1-4 probable (redacted)
- 17028 (Grantville) – 1-4 positive (redacted), 56 negative, zero probable
- 17038 (Jonestown) – 24 positive, 153 negative, 1-4 probable (redacted)
- 17039 (Kleinfeltersville) zero positive, 1-4 negative (redacted), zero probable
- 17041 (Lawn) – zero positive, 1-4 negative (redacted), zero probable
- 17042 (Lebanon) – 274 positive, 1,147 negative, five probable
- 17046 (Lebanon) – 355 positive, 1,087 negative, seven probable
- 17064 (Mount Gretna) 1-4 positive (redacted), 19 negative, zero probable
- 17067 (Myerstown) – 101 positive, 320 negative, 1-4 probable (redacted)
- 17073 (Newmanstown) – 16 positive, 93 negative, zero probable
- 17078 (Palmyra) – 34 positive, 445 negative, eight probable
- 17087 (Richland) – five positive, 41 negative, zero probable
- 17545 (Manheim) – 71 positive, 367 negative, zero probable
- 17963 (Pine Grove) – 22 positive, 143 negative, zero probable
- 19551 (Robesonia) – 12 positive, 87 negative, zero probable
- 19567 (Womelsdorf) – 41 positive, 91 negative, zero probable
The state is reporting COVID-19 cases at three nursing homes or personal care facility in the county right now, with at least 77 cases among residents and at least 22 cases among employees. According to DOH data, there have been at least 15 coronavirus-linked deaths at Lebanon County nursing homes or personal care facilities to date. According to data released by StoneRidge, 13 of those deaths were residents at StoneRidge Town Centre in Myerstown.
The state was expected to begin releasing specific nursing home figures on Monday, May 18. They began releasing these figures on Tuesday. Unfortunately, while specific figures are now being released, the state is not currently providing countywide figures, hence the “at least” language above. Here is what state data shows as of today.
- Cornwall Manor: 11 cases among residents, less than five cases among employees, less than five deaths
- ManorCare Health Services Lebanon: Seven cases among residents, less than five cases among employees, less than five deaths
- StoneRidge Town Centre: 59 cases among residents, 20 cases among employees, 13 deaths
We have a pending inquiry with the DOH to see if precise countywide figures can be made available again.
Please note that due to these data issues, we have chosen not to update the nursing home specific charts below until we can get clarity from the state.
As of mid-April, WellSpan Health has made available a dashboard showing hospital-specific data. According to this dashboard, to date there have been 3,468 tests performed by WellSpan Health in Lebanon County, with 3,298 of those finalized and 170 pending. 599 tests (18.2%) were positive.
According to WellSpan data, seven deaths have occurred at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital as a result of coronavirus. WellSpan notes that this information is not based on patient residency and therefore may differ from DOH statistics. Currently there are seven confirmed positive COVID-19 patients at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital and three suspected/presumed positive patients.
The Department of Veterans Affairs also makes some information available regarding treatment of coronavirus at its facilities. As of today, the Lebanon VA Medical Center is providing in-patient care to 16 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (14 veterans and two employees) and 87 additional people as outpatients (71 veterans and 16 employees). The facility has recorded 12 known deaths from the virus. These figures include residents of the VA’s long-term care Community Living Centers.
Here’s how Lebanon County’s confirmed case count has grown since the pandemic began.
Here’s how confirmed cases compare to overall tests in Lebanon County.
Here’s how confirmed cases look as a percentage of overall tests, averaged over the previous seven days.
Here’s how the daily number of new cases in Lebanon County looks.
Here’s how that looks when negative tests are included.
Here’s how daily new cases in Lebanon County look averaged over the previous seven days.
Here’s how the daily number of new tests (positive and negative) looks averaged over the previous seven days.
Lastly, here’s new cases on a rolling 14-day sum per 100,000 people in Lebanon County.
Gov. Tom Wolf has said that a county or region would need to show 50 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents over a two week period to advance to the next stage in his proposed tiered reopening plan. The count for the Southcentral Region is also included in the above graph.
The Southcentral Region includes Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, and York counties. Here’s how those counties compare to each other in this metric. For context, we have included the statewide rate.
(Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Fulton, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, and York counties will all be moved to the yellow phase by Friday, May 22.)
For additional context, Philadelphia County is at 185 new cases over the last 14 days per 100,000 residents, Lehigh County is at 139, and Berks County is at 174.
Here’s a map view of the same data, as of today.
Here is a chart that shows cases linked to nursing homes as a percentage of overall cases. (See above note regarding why this chart wasn’t updated yet today.)
Here is a chart that shows deaths linked to nursing homes as a percentage of overall deaths. (See above note regarding why this chart wasn’t updated yet today.)
Here is a chart that shows an estimated mortality rate based on a thirty day recovery period from the time of the state receiving a positive test result.
Here is that same chart excluding nursing homes. (Note that this chart and the one below it are limited for the time being as comprehensive nursing home data only became available on April 16.) (See above note regarding why this chart wasn’t updated yet today.)
And here showing nursing homes only. (See above note regarding why this chart wasn’t updated yet today.)
Here’s how Lebanon County compares to other counties, as well as the region and state, across three main metrics.
Postive Cases as Percent of Overall Population
Overall Tests as Percent of Overall Population
Positive Cases as Percent of Overall Tests
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are COVID-19 cases occurring in Lebanon County?
The state began releasing ZIP-level date on April 20 and intends to update this dataset daily. We now include it in the main update above. Some ZIP codes are missing at this point and the DOH says they are working on including them. Previously, the DOH had declined to share ZIP code level data, citing HIPAA concerns. LebTown editorialized on this issue and questioned the applicability of HIPAA in this regard. In April the state also presented counties with an offer for specific addresses (but not names) of COVID-19 patients to be shared with 911 centers, but Lebanon County has declined so far to enter that agreement, citing concerns shared by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania that the agreement exposes the county to undue liability. Lancaster Newspapers has reported that the Lancaster County Commissioners share this view as well. In any event, that agreement, if ratified, would prevent county officials from sharing the data with the public.
How does Lebanon County look compared to other counties?
This is a complicated question and there’s no one answer to it. In our primary daily update, we track a few specific ratios:
- Postive Cases as Percent of Overall Population
- Overall Tests as Percent of Overall Population
- Positive Cases as Percent of Overall Tests
In general, Lebanon County will be doing well if we can continue to increase #1 while holding steady with #2. In that scenario, #3 would necessarily go down.
How does the state define a COVID-19 case?
Initially cases were only listed by the state if a positive test had been recorded. In April, the state began including probable cases as well. Here is how the state defines probable cases:
- Appropriate symptoms of COVID-19 and exposed to a high-risk scenario
- A positive antibody test and either symptoms or a high-risk exposure
- A fatal case with no known test result, but COVID-19 named as either the primary or a contributing cause of death
Probable cases were counted in the overall death count for some time, but the DOH reversed course on that decision.
How many tests have been done in Lebanon County?
This is a complicated question. The state does not track, at least publicly, the total number of outstanding tests at the county level. WellSpan Health began disclosing hospital-specific data related to COVID-19 testing and treatment on April 22 and we include this information in our daily update above. One complication here is that just because a test was administered in a specific county, does not mean that the person who received the test resides in that same county. However the state has recently added the number of negative tests to its county-level data. By adding the negative tests number with the total cases number, we can estimate the total number of tests taken by Lebanon County residents, although this figure should be seen as a proxy and not an absolute or highly precise measure.
How many people have recovered from COVID-19?
We don’t know for sure. The state has said that it is not able to track the recovery of the tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, but it is working on getting hospital discharge data and hopes to “soon” be able to release that information. WellSpan Health does not include discharge information in its dashboard. The Department of Veterans Affairs also does not include recovery information in its COVID-19 dataset, and furthermore patients treated at the Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center may not be Lebanon County residents, as the facility serves a nine county region. LebTown has added an estimated mortality chart based on a thirty day recovery period, but it should be taken directionally and not as a precise figure. This percentage is calculated as the number of new deaths that occurred over a thirty day period compared to new cases in that same period.
How can Lebanon County and the Department of Health have two different numbers for COVID-19 deaths?
The Department of Health has said that fatal cases which are not reported through the state’s electronic system may not be captured in the official counts. Likewise, cases reported directly to the state may not also be reported to the county coroner. Read more on this subject in our article with Lebanon County Coroner Dr. Jeffery Yocum here. Additionally, the state and county have different criteria for registering a death – the state counts a death if the deceased tested positive for COVID-19 at the time of their death, whereas the county counts a death if COVID-19 symptoms were the primary cause of death.
How did you select which ZIP codes to list?
Some local ZIP codes include land in other counties as well as in Lebanon County. To be comprehensive we have included any ZIP code that falls even partly inside county lines. Note that Ono (17077), Quentin (17083), Rexmont (17085), and Schaefferstown (17088) are still not present in the source data.
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Full Disclosure: WellSpan Health is an advertiser on LebTown at present. LebTown does not make editorial decisions based on advertising relationships and advertisers do not receive special editorial treatment. Learn more about advertising with LebTown here.