The 107 COVID-related deaths in Lancaster County so far this month put December on pace to be the county’s deadliest month.
Only two other months have had three-digit death counts since the novel coronavirus emerged in Pennsylvania 10 months ago: April with 183 fatalities and May with 113.
In comparison, November saw 62 COVID deaths.
Could Lancaster County top 200 deaths in one month?
“I think it’s possible, but I hope that we don’t,” Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni told LNP | LancasterOnline on Wednesday.
The Gardens at Stevens, a for-profit nursing home in Denver Borough, still accounts for the majority of the COVID-related deaths in December, Diamantoni said.
Since Nov. 20 — when the nursing home recorded its first COVID-related death — 38 residents at the facility have died of COVID. The first cases were reported to the state health department three days earlier on Nov. 17.
George Stauffer, the home’s administrator, declined to comment saying he was not authorized to make statements on behalf of the facility, which is owned by Priority Healthcare Group. Stauffer, however, did not provide LNP | LancasterOnline with a media contact.
While long-term care facilities account for 73% of all COVID-related deaths, these facilities in December represented about 40% of the fatalities, coroner data shows.
The average age for those who have died in December is 79. Whites accounted for majority of COVID-related fatalities at 88% followed by Latinx (6%) Blacks (3%) and Asians (2%). Roughly 1% of the cases were not identified by race, according to the coroner data.
The county’s death toll from the virus Wednesday night was 618, according to the county coroner’s office.
The number of dead in Pennsylvania climbed to 13,168 Wednesday after the state health department reported 278 fatalities.
With cases surging and the death toll in Lancaster County hitting 600, a ray of hope could b…
Seven more hospitals — none in Lancaster County — received doses of the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday, according the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Contacted Wednesday for the latest on the vaccine, officials at Lancaster County’s hospitals said that while the nor’easter could disrupt its distribution they had no further information on when it will be received.
Spokespeople at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital and WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital previously said they could begin vaccinating health care workers today at LGH and Friday at WellSpan Ephrata.
A UPMC Pinnacle spokeswoman said the health system anticipates receiving the vaccine this week and is ready to begin vaccinating its frontline employees within 48 hours of arrival, including those at UPMC Lititz.