The heat is rising, and so are COVID-19 case numbers. Counties across Pennsylvania are seeing a jump.
Southeastern Pennsylvania's battle with COVID-19 is turning into a long, hard slog of a war. The deadly virus is beaten back with the weapons of face masks and distancing only to emerge again.
"We still have a lot of things opening up so, there, it gives the illusion that it's under control, but we're spiking," said Wardell Pearson, of Philadelphia, who was out and about with his mask on Thursday.
Health officials would argue the region is not spiking, but it is seeing a steady rise in coronavirus cases, which the state health commission says is reflected in every region of the commonwealth.
"The choices we make today will impact the spread of the virus in the days and weeks to come and also impact the opening of schools," Pennsylvania Health Commissioner Dr. Rachel Lavine said Thursday.
In the last 7 days, Delaware County has seen a steady uptick in COVID-19 cases topping out at nearly 8,100 infections on Wednesday.
This week, Philadelphia is now averaging 139 cases per day, up from 110 cases per day during last week. About 61 percent of cases are in people under the age of 40.
MORE DETAILS: Philadelphia's 7/23/20 Update
Fewer of these cases are occurring in nursing homes. Of the city's 46 nursing homes, 40 have had no new cases the past two weeks.
"We are concerned about infections in that younger group because they could spread it to older people that they're in contact with," Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.
Officials are also monitoring a cluster in a jail, where one symptomatic person resulted in discovery of 23 more cases. One of those patients is now symptomatic, so far.
Well over 104,000 Pennsylvanians have contracted the virus, and 7,079 have lost their lives.
The war with COVID-19 is not only long but deadly, with some fearing there is no end in sight, FOX 29's Jeff Cole reported.
"This will definitely probably go into the next year. And, even with that, you never know," Pearson told us. "Something like this, you don't know, because you can't get a grasp on what it is. So, I feel it's better to be safe than sorry."
- US COVID-19 cases surpass 4 million, according to Johns Hopkins
- Archdiocese of Philadelphia high schools adopt hybrid learning system for fall
- School openings hinge on Pennsylvania's case counts, Dr. Levine warns
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