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Virus prompts new grace period for expiring driver licenses

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania reported more than 800 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, as continuing concern about the virus prompted a new grace period for drivers with expiring licenses.

The state Department of Transportation extended the expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards and learner’s permits to Aug. 31. The grace period applies to cards that expired after March 16. It had been scheduled to expire this Friday.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health reported 834 additional confirmed virus cases and 16 new deaths. The virus has infected more than 110,000 people in Pennsylvania since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 7,160 have died, most of them in nursing homes.

In July, Pennsylvania’s 14-day rate of new cases per 100,000 residents has risen by more than 70%, from below 60 to almost 100.

The seven-day positivity rate — based on the Health Department’s daily public disclosures of the number of people who are newly confirmed to be positive and the number of people who tested negative — has gradually increased in July, from about 4.5% to 6%.

Deaths have declined from June to July, although hospitalizations are on the rise in July, according to state data.

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