There were 12 more COVID-19 cases linked to long-term care facilities in Northumberland County on Wednesday, part of an increase of 22 across the Valley and 834 statewide.
Of the Valley's 1,798 cases, 399 of them have been tied to one of 14 facilities that have reported cases. On Wednesday, 12 of the 13 new cases in Northumberland County are at county facilities.
Statewide, the 834 new cases push the total number of cases in Pennsylvania to 151,646. Centre County is reporting an increase of 185 cases.
The State Department of Health estimates 81 percent of those who have tested positive have already recovered. State health officials also announced 19 new deaths, giving Pennsylvania 8,023 since March, including 5,360 at long-term care facilities.
On Wednesday the state announced 13 cases in Northumberland County, six in Snyder and three in Union County. There were no new cases in Montour County. Additionally, there were no new COVID-related deaths in the Valley. Since March, 63 Valley residents have died due to complications from the novel coronavirus, including 48 in Northumberland — 42 at long-term care facilities — six in Union, five in Montour and four in Snyder.
There was a slight increase in the number of Pennsylvanians hospitalized with the virus, with nine more added to the state's total of 429. It remains well below the peak of nearly 2,800 in April. There are 58 people being treated on ventilators, down one from Monday. Across the Valley 21 people being treated — nine at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, seven at Geisinger Shamokin and five at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg. None are on ventilators
There have been 399 cases in Valley long-term care facilities, including 325 in Northumberland County. In Northumberland County long-term care facilities, there have been 254 residents and 71 staffers — in seven facilities. A staffer at one Montour County facility has tested positive, while 45 residents and seven staffers at one Snyder County facility and 15 residents and six staffers at five Union County facilities have tested positive.
Restaurant capacity increases
Pennsylvania restaurants are permitted to seat more patrons inside, and can serve alcohol an hour later than originally planned, under new public health orders that took effect Monday.
Restaurants are now permitted to increase indoor occupancy from 25% to half of capacity after the Wolf administration relaxed restrictions that were imposed more than two months ago in response to rising infection rates in some virus hot spots in Pennsylvania.
Establishments that want to increase capacity must certify to the state that they are complying with all public health guidelines. Those restaurants will appear in a searchable state database called Open & Certified Pennsylvania, the administration said.
The Wolf administration had planned to force bars and restaurants to stop selling alcohol at 10 p.m. as of Monday, saying it wanted to discourage people from congregating, particularly young people who have been contracting the virus at elevated rates.
But the administration changed last call to 11 p.m. after getting pushback from restaurant and bar owners. The administration said the change also brings Pennsylvania in line with other states.