CDC file


Pennsylvania set another record for new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday when state health officials announced 5,900 cases, including a single-day high of 135 across the four Valley counties.

Both Snyder and Northumberland counties had more than 50 new cases each, with 55 in Snyder and 54 in Northumberland. There were also 30 new deaths statewide, including one each in Northumberland and Union counties.

The 5,900 new cases Tuesday breaks the previous record of 5,551 set on Saturday. The state Department of Health has announced more than 5,000 cases in five of the last six days. Statewide, there have now been 275,513 cases of the novel coronavirus and health officials estimate 68 percent of patients have recovered.

Since Nov. 1, there have been 68,033 cases in Pennsylvania. The state reported its first two cases on March 6, it took until May 25 — 81 days — to reach 68,000 cases.

Hospitalizations also rose by more than 100 to 2,737. There were 162 more patients hospitalized Tuesday than Monday as the total continues to approach the all-time high of 2,800 set on April 27. On Sept. 26, there were 444 Pennsylvanians hospitalized. There are also 280 residents being treated on ventilators across the state and 579 patients in intensive care units.

Locally the number of patients being treated in hospitals also increased by 13 on Tuesday. There are now 88 patients being treated in three local hospitals, including 62 at Geisinger in Danville, 14 at Evangelical Community Hospital and 12 at Geisinger-Shamokin. Geisinger in Danville has 24 residents in the ICU and is treating 11 on ventilators. Four of Evangelical’s patients are in the ICU, including one on a ventilator. Three of Geisinger-Shamokin’s 12 patients are in the ICU.

State health officials confirmed another 30 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, pushing the statewide total to 9,355. There have been 164 deaths across the Valley, including 119 in Northumberland, 18 in Snyder, 14 in Montour and 13 in Union. Of that total, 132 are tied to long-term care facilities in the region.

There were 135 new cases in the Valley on Tuesday: 55 in Snyder County, 54 in Northumberland, 15 in Union and 11 in Montour.

Since March, there have now been 4,165 cases in the Valley: 1,999 in Northumberland County, 1,031 in Union, 757 in Snyder and 378 in Montour.

In Tuesday’s release, there were 17 counties with at least 100 new cases, including 1,249 new cases in Philadelphia County.

Congregate facilities

Since March, there have been 814 cases at Valley nursing homes, including 563 in Northumberland, 102 in Montour, 102 in Snyder and 47 in Union.

The number of active cases at Bucknell and Susquehanna universities has slowed. Susquehanna remains at 48 active cases — including 47 students — while Bucknell has 25 active cases as of Tuesday morning and 24 students in isolation. Both universities are scheduled to send students home to finish the fall semester remotely at the end of this week.

The number of active cases at the State Correctional Institution in Coal Township doubled on Tuesday. There are now 18 active cases in the state facility, including 14 inmates — an increase of 10 since Monday — and four staffers. Statewide, there are 1,083 active cases across the 24 state prisons, including 730 inmates.

Active cases at federal prison facilities in Union County have dropped. There are now 10 combined active cases across three facilities, including two inmate and staff positive cases in Allenwood and two positive staff cases at USP-Lewisburg.

Geisinger testing

Geisinger is now using automation technology to streamline the return of results for COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) tests.

Patients who have a test for any of these conditions at a Geisinger facility will now receive an automated phone call with their result, positive or negative, within 24 hours of the test result being finalized. Patients who test positive for COVID-19 will receive a daily automated phone call from Geisinger to monitor their symptoms for at least 10 days following their positive test. If a patient indicates they have new or worsening symptoms, the patient will be immediately directed to Geisinger’s RN Triage line for assessment.

Positive tests

All Head Start classrooms at the Sunbury Children’s Center Head Start will be closed until Dec. 4 following a positive case in the classroom and to allow for cleaning.

The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU) learned of the positive COVID-19 case and closed the classroom Tuesday.

According to CSIU, the Department of Health (DOH) was immediately contacted, contact tracing protocols were followed, and families and staff members who were in “close contact” (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with the positive case were notified and instructed to quarantine.

Also, a positive COVID-19 case was confirmed at Milton Middle School, according to a report from Superintendent Cathy Keegan.

Keegan said protocols in place were followed and anyone within close contact was notified and instructed to quarantine.

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