ABC27 News+ Daybreak: Dauphin County budget, Claremont Nursing being sold, Coronavirus in rural hospitals

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On Thursday’s News+ Daybreak: ABC27’s James Crummel highlights the morning’s top stories:

  • National Coronavirus numbers: More than 260,000 people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus according to John Hopkins University. More than 90,000 are hospitalized, setting another record. Yesterday alone there were more than 2,200 deaths across the nation, the highest daily toll since early May. The CDC predicts up to 321,000 deaths from COVID by Dec. 19.
  • COVID in PA: Pennsylvania marked a new coronavirus milestone, the State Health Department reported 144 new deaths yesterday, pushing the fatality total to 10,095. There were also 6,759 new COVID cases reported. The state says there are more than 3,400 people hospitalized with COVID. The state’s percent positivity rate is 11.1 percent, state officials say anything over 5 percent is concerning.
  • Hospitals struggle with coronavirus: Two of the Midstate’s most rural counties, Mifflin and Juniata, have some of the highest coronavirus rates in the state. Geisinger Lewistown hospital serves those counties. It first set up tents at the start of the pandemic to be prepared for a surge, but now it’s not just an exercise. The hospital has 96 patients right now, 48 of them are COVID-positive.
  • Claremont set to be sold: The sale of Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Cumberland County came up for discussion at the county commissioners meeting this week, and some are upset with how it’s being handled. Since February 10 residents have died from coronavirus, while 54 residents and 32 staffers have tested positive. The sale is expected to be finalized at the end of June.
  • Dauphin County unveils budget: Dauphin County commissioners have unveiled the 2021 budget, it includes no tax increase. Commissioners say state orders to replace voting machines and the mass mailing of ballots cost an extra $700 thousand that they covered with Federal CARES Act money. County commissioners also blamed COVID restrictions for wiping out parking garage money.

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