More than half of the 23 COVID-19 fatalities in Mercer County have impacted residents and employees at long-term care homes, according to data released Wednesday.

The county has had 12 COVID-19 deaths — all at Grove Manor in Grove City — in long-term care homes. That amounts to 52% of Mercer County’s fatalities.

In the state’s previous long-term care home release on Sept. 28, Grove Manor had 10 fatal cases of the virus.

Countywide, there have been 168 total cases at long-term care homes, with 102 resident infections and 66 affecting employees. That amounts to about 21 percent of the total number of cases in the county.

According to the long-term care home data released Wednesday by the state Department of Health, Grove Manor has had 47 resident cases and 34 employee cases, Orchard Manor has 19 cases for residents and 8 for employees, 25 Quality Life Services residents and 24 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

Since Mercer County’s first recorded case of COVID-19 March 22, there have been 785 cases, 701 confirmed and 84 probables.

In its report Wednesday, the Health Department reported 1,138 new cases, the fourth time with more than 1,000 new positive tests in the last seven days. Since the state’s first recorded COVID-19 case on March 6, there have been 166,552 total infections. 

With 28 fatalities reported Wednesday, there have been 8,272 total fatalities in the state.

Mercer County had two new cases included in the Health Department’s report Wednesday. Over the last 14 days, the county’s rate of new infections has remained relatively flat, with the daily figure ranging between two and nine cases.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said Wednesday that the latest surge in cases has fueled in part by increased infection rates among people 19- to 24-year-old people. In northwestern Pennsylvania, including Mercer County, 23% of new cases affected people in the 19-to-24 age group, compared with 7% in April.

“We know that congregation, especially in college and university settings, yields increased case counts,” Levine said.