HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS/AP) — The number of coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania has topped 75,000 as the death toll nears 6,000. On Saturday, 701 new COVID-19 cases were reported, bringing the statewide total to 75,086.
Health officials say 45 more people died from the virus, raising the death toll to 5,931.
“As Pennsylvania continues to move forward in the process to reopen, we need to remember that the threat from COVID-19 has not gone away,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. “As counties move into the yellow and green phases, we must take personal responsibility to protect others. Wearing a mask, continuing to maintain social distancing, and washing your hands frequently are all steps we can take to help protect others, including our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our essential workers and our healthcare system.”
In Philadelphia, health officials reported an additional 122 COVID-19 cases Saturday, bringing the citywide total to 23,529. Two more deaths were also announced, the death toll now stands at 1,413.
June 06, 2020 @PhiladelphiaGov COVID-19 update:
122 new cases
23,529 total cases
2 new deaths
1,413 total deaths
— Philadelphia Public Health (@PHLPublicHealth) June 6, 2020
Over 435,000 patients have tested negative for the virus.
Meanwhile, nearly 6 million people in Philadelphia and nine other counties in hard-hit southeastern Pennsylvania became the last in the state Friday to shed the tightest restrictions, including a stay-at-home order.
Next week Gov. Tom Wolf will allow 12 more counties that are home to 1.3 million people to enter the least-restrictive phase of his pandemic reopening plan, even as he warned Friday of an outbreak in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Wolf, a Democrat, drew quick criticism over one county that is remaining in the yellow phase.
“This is beyond ludicrous, it is a direct smack in the face to all Erie County residents,” Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, said in a statement.
Wolf said that, while the total case counts have declined recently across Pennsylvania, Erie County is seeing a rise in cases and an increase in the rate of positive tests.
“This is a concern, in fact, it is actually alarming to our epidemiologists who believe an outbreak is occurring as we speak in Erie County,” Wolf said at a news conference.
His administration, he said, is providing six contact tracers to help Erie’s health department contain the outbreak.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)