Number of new Pennsylvania virus cases dips below 1,000

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania reported fewer than 1,000 new coronavirus infections for a ninth consecutive day Tuesday, even as the state Department of Health raised the death toll by 119 to push the total past 4,600.

An additional 610 people tested positive for the virus, health officials said, bringing the statewide case count to nearly 64,000.

Pennsylvania has been reporting fewer virus cases lately after exceeding 1,000 new confirmed infections on all but three days last month, peaking at nearly 2,000 on April 9.

With the rate of increase slowing, Gov. Tom Wolf has begun relaxing social distancing and business closure guidelines in more than half the state’s 67 counties that are home to one-third of its residents. Twelve more counties are scheduled to join them Friday.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than the state’s confirmed case count because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick. There is no data on how many people have fully recovered.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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