The outbreak in Cambria County has been of most concern in recent days. According to National Data from the New York Times, Cambria County’s positive case rate per 100,000 is the third worst among the Nation’s 3,143 Counties over the last 14 days and with that rise came more deaths. Cambria County now has the highest death toll in the viewing area.
Coroner Jeff Lees says 113 people have died from COVID-19 in Cambria County and says he thinks the months ahead will have a “Grim” outlook. For reference, just nine of those came before November. Lees says that 69 in Cambria County died from COVID in November and just 6 days into this month, he says there have already been 35. He says the deaths are mainly from those in their 60s to 70s. The youngest was 49 and the oldest was 100. A lot coming from Nursing Homes, but also in Hospitals, ERs, and at home. The rise in deaths is also straining Funeral Homes, as they run out of space to store bodies prior to burial.
2020 is a record year of deaths in general. Last year saw 1,938 death investigations, and this year at the end of November, there were 2,025 death investigations with a month to go. COVID-19 could be to blame, but Lees say’s he’s not exactly sure why. For those not trusting the data, Lees says yes – those who have died of COVID-19 may have pre-existing conditions and die of the complications. However, Lees says when they get COVID-19 with those it causes them not to rebound.
Due to Hospital Restrictions, many people are dying alone. Lees calls it heart-wrenching and described the rest of the year and into next year as “Grim.” Lees adding: “Take it serious, use precautions, be safe, and not only for yourself, but for your family, friends, and to the average stranger.”