The Daily Item
The Pennsylvania Department of Health registered the fewest number of new COVID-19 cases since it began releasing weekly totals in May on Wednesday, but state Health officials announced another 140 deaths linked to the coronavirus this week, the largest increase since early June.
Statewide, there were 10,843 new cases this week, down about 2,500 from last week’s report.
In the Valley, there were 190 new cases this week, the second-lowest weekly total since May and just the second time there have been fewer than 200 new cases locally in a single week. There were 32 new cases in Montour County, 95 in Northumberland, 34 in Snyder and 32 in Union County. It is the first time since July 6 that Northumberland County has had fewer than 100 new cases in a single week.
Statewide, 140 more people died from COVID, the 11th consecutive week with at least 100 deaths across Pennsylvania. One Montour County resident died from COVID this week, the first Montour County resident to die due to complications of COVID since June.
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 6 percent over the last week, while deaths were down 11 percent. Hospitalizations were down 8 percent.
All four Valley counties were seeing medium community transmission levels according to 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 1,228 hospitalizations statewide, up 45 this week and the second week in a row there has been an increase. There were 154 patients statewide being treated in the ICU, and 64 on ventilators, both up from last week.
There were 49 COVID patients in Valley hospitals, up six from last week’s report. That total includes 43 at Geisinger-Danville, two at Geisinger-Shamokin and four at Evangelical Community Hospital.
Of Evangelical’s seven COVID patients, one was vaccinated. Geisinger Medical Center in Danville had 43 patients hospitalized — up 10 from a week ago — seven in the ICU. Evangelical is treating one patient in the ICU.
State facilities, prisonsThe United States Penitentiary (USP) in Lewisburg and USP Allenwood were moved into Level 1 COVID restrictions this week, down from their Level 2 restrictions a week ago. There are five active inmate cases at USP-Lewisburg and one active inmate case at the medium-security unit in Allenwood.
Nationwide, four facilities were at Level 3, the highest level of restrictions, 48 were at Level 2 and 45 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.
There are eight active cases among those receiving services at the Selinsgrove Center, along with at least one staff case. The state does not release full data unless more than five people are positive.