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Focus on Hazleton as virus hotspot

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Focus on Hazleton as virus hotspot

Broad Street in Hazleton is seen last summer. An accelerating number of positive coronavirus cases at Hazleton testing sites is one reason area officials are zeroing in on the city as Luzerne County’s hotspot and pleading with residents to take the threat seriously. An accelerating number of positive coronavirus cases at Hazleton testing sites is one reason area officials are zeroing in on the city as Luzerne County’s hotspot and pleading with residents to take the threat seriously.

Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton added a second test site in the city March 16 because the first one that opened three days earlier was so busy, hospital Dr. Michael Evans said during a virtual news conference Thursday led by State Sen. John Yudichak.

On Sunday, there were 74 confirmed cases from tests administered at the hospital and its two offsite locations, Evans said.

The positive cases jumped to 119 on Monday, 158 on Tuesday, 219 on Wednesday and 310 on Thursday, he said.

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“It is alarming how quickly this is all rising,” Evans said.

Evans said his health network’s statistics are tracked in “real time,” which is why there may be a “lag” in those numbers appearing in daily coronavirus cases released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat also noted Lehigh Valley Hospital’s mounting statistics don’t include tests performed by other private physicians and clinics.The latest state report released Thursday said the county now has 384 cases, or 102 more than the previous day, in addition to five deaths.While the state doesn’t publicly report statistics at the municipal level, Yudichak, I-Swoyersville, said he and other officials believe the majority of county cases are “coming […]

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