The Daily Item
There were 12,965 new COVID-19 infections in Pennsylvania this week, including 218 in the Susquehanna Valley, both smaller figures than those reported a week ago.
The statewide total was the lowest in four weeks. The data, released Wednesdays by the state Department of Health, also showed 94 deaths this week, the first time since the week of Aug. 3 — 20 consecutive weeks — that the number was lower than 100.
One of the deaths was in Northumberland County, which has now lost 574 individuals to the pandemic, more than half of all Valley residents’ deaths from COVID-19 as reported by health officials.
Northumberland County saw 113 new infections. It’s the fourth consecutive weekly report with more than 100, but the smallest total of the four.
Snyder County saw 48 new cases, the county’s largest increase since Oct. 5. In Union county, there were 28 cases and in Montour there were 29. The Montour County number was the most since the week of Oct. 26.
No other Valley county recorded a death linked to the pandemic.
According to data being tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Johns Hopkins University, the number of new cases nationally is up 2 percent over the last two weeks, while COVID-related deaths are down 18 percent. Hospitalizations were down 1 percent over the same time period.
As of noon Wednesday, there were 1,531 hospitalizations statewide, up 214 from last week, the largest one-week increase since May. There were 162 patients statewide being treated in the ICU — up 5 — and 81 on ventilators.
There were 50 COVID patients in Valley hospitals, six more than last week’s report. This week’s total includes 34 at Geisinger in Danville, five at Geisinger Shamokin and 11 at Evangelical Community Hospital. Evangelical’s figure was the only one that didn’t increase
Geisinger Shamokin had one patients on a ventilator but none in the ICU. No Evangelical patients were in the ICU or on ventilators, according to the state report. Geisinger’s main Danville campus had six in the ICU and two patients on ventilators.
State facilities, prisons
Both federal prisons have moved back up to Level 2 COVID restrictions, the middle of the Department of Corrections’ three levels. There are no active inmate cases at Allenwood facilities this week. There is one case at United States Penitentiary Lewisburg, according to the online report from the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Nationwide, 14 facilities were at Level 3, the highest level of restrictions, 56 were at Level 2 and 27 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 the State Correctional Institution in Coal Township, there are no active staff or inmate cases, according to the state Department of Corrections. There were 33 active inmate cases and 31 active staff cases in state prisons statewide.
There was at least one active case among those receiving services at the Selinsgrove Center, along with nine staff cases, the same numbers reported for three consecutive weeks. The state Department of Human Services does not release full data unless five or more people are positive.
There were no cases at the Danville State Hospital or juvenile detention facilities in Danville.