Lancaster County recorded 62 COVID-19 deaths in February, according to county forensics, the lowest monthly total since September and less than half the number recorded in January on top of the omicron wave of infections.
In early February, the county had an average of between five and six deaths a day due to the virus, according to the forensic pathologist. In the last days of the month, one to two people a day died as a result of COVID-19.
The sharp drop in the number of deaths has coincided with an even sharper drop in the number of new cases and hospitalization levels.
On February 28, the number of seven-day cases dropped to 51 new cases a day, a drop of 86% from the beginning of the month, according to data from the state Department of Health. The 420 cases recorded from February 20 to February 26 were the lowest weekly total since the last week of July 2021.
The county had 27 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday, a 79% drop from 126 on Feb. 1, according to state data. The number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators dropped to three on Tuesday. The last time both numbers were so low was the beginning of August 2021.
The pace of new vaccinations dropped significantly in February, with nearly 3,000 people receiving their first shots, about 4,300 being fully vaccinated and about 5,700 receiving boosters in Lancaster County, according to state data.
Just over 60% of eligible county residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and just under 48% of those fully vaccinated have received boosters, according to state data. Public health authorities say vaccination is the most effective protection against serious illness or death from COVID-19.