COVID-19 FILE

CDC file

COVID-19

Pennsylvania recorded another new low for new COVID-19 cases this week and recorded the second-smallest increase in related deaths since early August.

The state Department of Health recorded 9,261 new infections. It is the smallest increase since the state began reporting the data weekly in mid-May, beating the new low set last week.

There were 111 new COVID-19 deaths reported statewide, the second-smallest number since 97 were reported the week of Aug. 3.

The new death total includes five in the Valley counties — four in Northumberland County and one in Montour. It was the second consecutive week with a new death in Montour County. Prior to that, a death hadn’t been linked to the virus since the week of June 8. For Northumberland County, it was the largest one-day increase in deaths since May 25.

Valley counties recorded 180 new infections, also the smallest increase since the state went to weekly reporting. The new case count has gotten smaller for three consecutive weeks in the Valley. Northumberland County (94 new cases) and Union County (37) recorded more cases than last week and Montour (30) and Snyder (19) recorded fewer. Snyder County’s new case number is the smallest since the state moved to weekly reporting. Northumberland County’s is second smallest only to last week’s total.

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 4 percent over the last week, while deaths were down 7 percent. Hospitalizations were down 1 percent.

All four Valley counties were seeing medium community transmission levels for the second consecutive week, 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 1,244 hospitalizations statewide, up 16 this week and the third week in a row there has been an increase. There were 154 patients statewide being treated in the ICU — the same number as reported last week — and 63 on ventilators, down one.

There were 48 COVID patients in Valley hospitals, down one from last week’s report. The total in the Valley has hovered between 43 and 52 for six consecutive weeks. This week’s total includes 38 at Geisinger-Danville, six at Geisinger-Shamokin and seven at Evangelical Community Hospital.

Of Evangelical’s seven COVID patients, four were vaccinated. Geisinger Medical Center had seven in the ICU and one on a ventilator. Evangelical is treating no patient in the ICU.

State facilities, prisonsThe United States Penitentiary (USP) in Lewisburg and USP Allenwood remained in Level 1 COVID restrictions this week, down from their Level 2 restrictions two weeks ago.

There are seven active inmate cases at USP-Lewisburg and one active inmate case at the medium-security unit in Allenwood, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons. There are no staff cases at either facility.

Nationwide, four facilities were at Level 3, the highest level of restrictions, 48 were at Level 2 and 45 were at Level 1, all the same as reported last week. 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 four active inmate cases and two active staff cases, according to the state Department of Corrections. There are 84 active inmate cases and 45 active staff cases in state prisons statewide.

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.

There was at least one staff case at Danville State Hospital and no client cases.

At the North Central Secure Treatment Unit in Danville, the boys facility reported at least one staff case and no youth cases. At least one youth and at least one staffer had infections in the girls facility.

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