The number of new COVID-19 cases statewide declined again this week — the third week in a row — while three of four Valley counties saw more new cases this week than the preceding week.
Statewide, the Department of Health added 12,431 new cases across Pennsylvania over the past seven days, the fewest since July 6.
In the Valley, there were 296 new cases in the Valley this week, 86 more than last week. There were 31 new cases in Montour County, 106 in Northumberland, 103 in Snyder and 56 in Union County. Northumberland was the only county to register fewer cases this week locally. Snyder County’s was its largest one-week increase since state Health officials began tracking weekly totals in May.
Statewide, 110 more people died from COVID, the ninth consecutive week with at least 100 deaths across Pennsylvania. Three Valley residents died from COVID this week, including two in Northumberland County and one in Snyder.
According to data being tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Johns Hopkins University, the number of new cases nationally decreased by 16 percent over the last week, while deaths were up 11 percent. Hospitalizations were down 5 percent. Statewide, the number of new cases of COVID was down 20 percent, hospitalizations were up six percent and the number of deaths was down 11 percent.
All four Valley counties have medium levels of community transmission this week following an update from the CDC. Community levels are determined by using a combination of three metrics — new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days.
HospitalizationsAs of noon Wednesday, there were 1,165 hospitalizations statewide, down 21 this week after an increase the preceding week. There were 123 patients statewide being treated in the ICU, and 56 on ventilators, down a dozen.
There were 46 COVID patients in Valley hospitals, down four from last week. That total includes 39 at Geisinger-Danville, four at Geisinger-Shamokin and three at Evangelical Community Hospital.
All three patients at Evangelical were vaccinated. Geisinger Medical Center in Danville had 39 patients hospitalized — down six from last week — six in the ICU. Evangelical is treating one patient in the ICU.
State facilities, prisons
The United States Penitentiary (USP) in Lewisburg and USP Allenwood remain in Level 1 COVID restrictions this week. There are no active cases at any of the federal prisons in Union County according to the Bureau of Prisons.
Nationwide, eight facilities were at Level 3, the highest level of restrictions, 51 were at Level 2 and 38 were at Level 1. Institution operational levels (Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3) are based on the facilities’ COVID-19 medical isolation rate, combined percentage of staff and inmate completed vaccinations series and their respective county transmission rates.
At SCI-Coal Township the state Department of Corrections is reporting three cases among inmates and four among staffers.