Pennsylvania reaches 1 million COVID-19 cases


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Pennsylvania has reached a million total cases of COVID-19 just weeks after the commonwealth hit the milestone of one year of the pandemic.

The first two cases of COVID-19 were announced by Governor Wolf March 6, 2020. Twelve days later, Pennsylvania would confirm its first COVID-19 related death.

As of March 25, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has reported 1,000,240 total cases of COVID-19. 1,717 people are currently in the hospital, and over 4.5 million people have been fully vaccinated.


  • March 6, 2020: First two cases were reported.
  • March 252020: Over 1,000 cases (1,127)
  • April 14, 2020: Over 25,000 cases (25,345)
  • May 42020: Over 50,000 cases (50,092)
  • July 18, 2020: Over 100,000 cases (100,241)
  • Oct. 28, 2020: Over 200,000 cases (200,674)
  • Nov. 21, 2020: Over 300,000 cases (302,564)
  • Dec. 5, 2020: Over 400,000 cases (411,484)
  • Dec. 15, 2020: Over 500,000 cases (509,320)
  • Dec. 26, 2020: Over 600,000 cases (605,141)
  • Jan. 8, 2021: Over 700,000 cases (703,265)
  • Jan. 24, 2021: Over 800,000 cases (803,933)
  • Feb. 17, 2021: Over 900,000 cases (902,650)

When the coronavirus pandemic started to unfold in 2020, Pennsylvania saw multiple waves of shutdowns and restrictions over the course of the year. In 2021, Gov. Wolf has cited a “light at the end of the tunnel” as more Pennsylvanians receive the COVID-19 vaccine. On April 4, the governor anticipates lifting some COVID-19 restrictions and will allow restaurants to move to 75% of their maximum occupancy.


March 19, 2020: Wolf orders all non-life-sustaining businesses to close at 8 p.m. The previous businesses that were suggested to close are now forced to shut their doors at 8 p.m. Enforcement set to begin on March 21 for businesses that don’t close and could result in fines, citations, or license suspensions. Private businesses or local organizations that didn’t comply could forfeit the ability to receive applicable disaster relief.

April 1, 2020: All of Pennsylvania is under the stay-at-home order. Gov. Wolf provided a detailed list of what is considered essential travel and individual activities that could still be performed. Healthcare, news media, law enforcement, the federal government, religious institutions and other life-sustaining businesses were exempt.

April 3, 2020: Pennsylvania residents advised to wear masks when leaving the house. The use of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 begins in Pennsylvania. Gov. Wolf asked residents not to wear N95 and paper masks in order to reserve them for healthcare workers.

April 22, 2020: State reopening plan announced. Gov. Wolf announces the introduction of his three-phase plan: red, yellow and green. Some counties in the northwestern and north-central areas of the state are projected to be released from stay-at-home order May 8. A region must average fewer than 50 new positive cases per 100,000 residents to move out from under the statewide lockdown.

July 15, 2020: Wolf imposes restrictions on bars and restaurants. Bars will close unless they offer dine-in meals and restaurants will be at a 25% capacity. Alcohol may only be served on-site with a meal. Indoor events and gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited, with the exception of places of worship.

Sept. 11, 2020: Bars and restaurants are allowed to reopen to 50% capacity on Sept. 21. Businesses need to go through an online self-certification to upgrade their capacity to 50%.

Dec. 10, 2020: The second round of COVID-19 restrictions are announced in PA. Scheduled until Jan. 4, indoor dining is prohibited and indoor gatherings are capped at 10 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people and businesses may operate at up to 50% capacity. Places of congregate worship were excluded from these restrictions.

March 1, 2021: Gov. Wolf revises some COVID-19 restrictions for crowd sizes. Revised maximum occupancy limits for indoor events to allow for 15% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size. Outdoor events allow for 20% of maximum occupancy.

March 15, 2021: Gov. Wolf lifts some restrictions on restaurants and indoor establishments. Starting April 4, the indoor capacity for restaurants will be raised to 75% for businesses that opt to go through a self-certification process. Restaurants may also resume bar service; customers will not be required to purchase food in order to purchase alcohol.

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