Cambria County and other rural regions getting hit by rising COVID-19 caseloads

Cases have more than doubled in Cambria County since the beginning of November.

  • Anne Danahy/WPSU

(State College) — Pennsylvania continues to set new daily records for COVID-19 cases, and those increases aren’t just happening in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and State College. Counties in the center of the state are seeing spikes and asking everyone to follow social distancing guidelines over the holidays.

Dr. Elizabeth Dunmore is chief medical officer at Conemaugh Health System, which serves Cambria and surrounding counties.

She said their message now is the same that it has been: wear a mask, social distance, practice good hand hygiene, and stay home if you could be sick.

“Yes, we’re prepared to take care of people who are sick, but it’s just so crucial that everybody  follow these guidelines,” Dunmore said. “It’s a way to take care of ourselves, but also our community.”

Dunmore said the case numbers highlight how important that is.

Known COVID-19 cases in Cambria County saw a record one-day jump of 171 cases Wednesday, reaching 2,530 cases.

Cases have more than doubled in the county since the beginning of November. And, according to the state Department of Health the county has 56 patients hospitalized for the coronavirus.

Art Martynuska, coordinator for Cambria County’s emergency management agency, said the resurgence had been expected and planned for. But, the increasing caseload is still a concern. And it could get worse with the colder weather and the holidays.

“We just need to exercise as much diligence as possible and maintain as much safety as possible,” Martynuska said.

Dunmore too said during the holidays, it might be distressing not to  have big get-togethers.

“But we make those sacrifices so that next year we can enjoy our family gatherings with everyone,” she said.

Pennsylvania broke its record for a one-day increase Wednesday, adding 6,339 cases. That brought the state’s total to nearly 282,000.

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