COVID-19 coronavirus 23

Indiana County registered the largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic as the figure surged past the 1,000-case milestone Friday.

In the 24 hours ending at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health recorded 34 new cases of coronavirus infection in the county, bringing to 1,028 the total since March.

The department, as of Thursday night, recorded 16 deaths of Indiana County residents attributed to COVID-19. The figure is unchanged from the day before. The mortality rate is 1.56 percent of the total cases.

The caseload includes 854 positive diagnoses and 174 presumed positive cases, according to the DOH.

The department of health Friday reported 136 cases were related to long-term care facilities, including 114 residents, an increase of eight from the day before, and 22 employees. The DOH Friday raised the death toll in nursing homes and care facilities to eight, adding one more of those who died earlier to the long-term care total.

At the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus, university officials said Friday 18 students were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The total caseload at the campus since Aug. 15 is 285, and the university said 258 people have recovered from the illness.

Of the 170 dormitory beds set aside for quarantine of those diagnosed with COVID-19 at the campus, 12 are now in use including nine students who have been diagnosed through testing and three others presumed positive and awaiting test results.

There is no clear comparison of the university statistics released by IUP and the Indiana County figures provided by the department of health. It is not known whether the cases found at IUP were included with county numbers on previous dates or would be included in future reports.

The department of health Friday also confirmed as of midnight that there were 2,219 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 190,579.

“Daily increases are now comparable with what we saw in April 2020, with today’s case count the largest one-day total,” according to a health department news release.

“The number of tests administered in the last seven days between Oct. 16 and 22 is 235,737 with 10,840 positive cases. There were 39,757 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m. Thursday,” DOH reported.

There are 8,625 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 33 new deaths reported. 

Nationwide, the coronavirus caseload reached record heights Friday with more than 83,000 infections reported in a single day, the latest ominous sign of the disease’s grip on the nation.

The U.S. death toll, meanwhile, has grown to 223,995, according to the COVID-19 Dashboard published by Johns Hopkins University. The total U.S. caseload reported on the site Friday was 83,757, topping the 77,362 cases reported July 16.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.