Butler County added one death and seven new cases of COVID-19, according to Thursday's report.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health report Thursday listed Butler County with 15 deaths, an increase of one from Wednesday's report.
The report, which has compiled cases since the beginning of the pandemic, also showed a total of 546 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county. The new total is an increase of seven confirmed cases since Wednesday's report.
Butler Health System did not report a death in a briefing Wednesday, and a BHS spokesman said Thursday there has not been a death at Butler Memorial Hospital since that update.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, both deaths and cases are recorded by place of residence, regardless of current locale, so if a county resident dies in another state due to COVID-19, the death is still recorded as part of Butler County's total.
Gov. Tom Wolf and state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine conducted a COVID-19 briefing in front of the Lancaster EMS building. Wolf said doing so was a means of praising EMS and fire companies across the state for their efforts during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“During the pandemic, our emergency responders have become more important than ever,” Wolf said. “They have been out on the front lines of this fight, helping attend to COVID-19 patients in their most dire time of need.”
To offset some of the losses, the Wolf administration and General Assembly worked together to pass legislation to make $50 million in grants available to first responders and fire companies negatively affected by COVID-19.
The Office of State Fire Commissioner will issue the grants. Applications are due Aug. 7.
Levine also touted first responders for continuing to work even with new adaptations to their daily life due to the pandemic, such as wearing masks and gloves. She said they continue to show their courage by further putting their lives on the line as they treat patients who might have COVID-19.
“There is an important way we can thank our EMS providers, and that is to wear a mask,” Levine said. “When you wear a mask in public, you are showing respect for our front line EMS providers, and you are actually protecting them.”
Wolf on Wednesday issued a news release reminding Pennsylvanians of the possible fines for violating social mitigation orders.
“Ultimately, 13 million Pennsylvanians each are going to have to come to that conclusion just as they did with seat belts and stopping at stop signs,” he said. “Does everyone stop at stop signs? No, but most people do.”
COVID-19 Regional Update
The following numbers on the coronavirus pandemic were compiled from regular news releases from the state Department of Health.
Thursday’s COVID-19 statistics:
Confirmed cases: 546
Probable cases: 47
Negative tests: 12,142
New cases: 860
Total cases: 111,078
New deaths: 14
Total deaths: 7,176
Recovered: 75 percent
Allegheny: 7,622 confirmed cases; 106,639 negative; and 227 deaths
Armstrong: 177 confirmed; 3,721 negative; and 6 deaths
Beaver: 1,156 confirmed; 10,988 negative; and 88 deaths
Clarion: 70 confirmed; 1,773 negative; and 2 deaths
Lawrence: 280 confirmed; 4,718 negative; and 11 deaths
Mercer: 277 confirmed; 7,060 negative; and 9 deaths
Venango: 44 confirmed and 2,757 negative
Westmoreland: 1,344 confirmed; 28,401 negative; and 45 deaths.