State Health officials reported 5,343 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, the most since March 27 and the second most since Jan. 29.
It was the fourth time in five days the state Department of Health (DOH) reported more than 4,000 new cases. The state is averaging 4,696 cases per day during the five-day span.
There were also 63 new cases in Valley counties, including 29 in Northumberland County, which has reported at least 19 new infections for six straight days. Every other Valley county tied or had it’s largest single-day increase in the last seven days in Saturday’s report. There were 15 new cases in Union County, 11 in Snyder and eight in Montour.
There was only one new death in the Valley, in Northumberland County. The last COVID-related death in Snyder County was recorded on March 11, while no deaths have been registered in Montour County since Feb. 25.
The state reported 40 new deaths, the second time in four days the death toll increase has been 40 or more.
According to state Health officials, 2,187 patients are hospitalized statewide with COVID-19 symptoms, an increase of 14 from Friday’s reporting.
The state has administered 5,433,298 vaccine doses with 1,924,837 residents fully vaccinated. Across the Valley, 36,127 residents are fully vaccinated — about 18.6 percent of the Valley's population. The state did not update vaccine numbers during its mid-day report on Saturday.
According to the CDC, as of Friday morning, Pennsylvania had administered first doses of vaccine to 32.4% of its eligible population.
Pennsylvania's early warning dashboard also shows the state's positive test rate increased to 9.4 percent over the past week, up from 7.6 percent last week. It is the third week in a row the positivity rate has increased. This week's rate is the highest it has been since Jan. 22. Evangelical Community Hospital's dashboard shows that 10.8 percent of the tests it has conducted over the past week have been positive.
There are now 2,187 patients in Pennsylvania, the increase of 14 marked the second consecutive day with an increase less than 50. Previously, there had been at least 50 per day for six days. There were now 422 patients being treated in intensive care units (ICUs), down 12 from Friday, while the number of patients being treated on ventilators increased by three to 207.
At Valley hospitals, 55 patients were hospitalized — 17 in ICUs and four on ventilators — the same figures as reported Friday. Geisinger Medical Center in Danville is treating 36 patients. The Danville campus is treating 12 patients in the ICU and four on ventilators. At Geisinger Shamokin there are three patients, including one in the ICU. At Evangelical, the number of admitted patients increased to 16, while four are being treated in the ICU. The individual facility numbers also remained unchanged
The trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients per day is about 4,300 lower than it was at the peak on Dec. 25, 2020. The current 14-day average is also below what it was at the height of the spring peak on May 3, 2020.
At Bucknell University there are 14 active cases -- up three from Friday’s report -- including 10 among students, an increase of three, who all tested positive on campus, according to the school’s online dashboard. There are 55 students in isolation, up two from the previous day.
At Susquehanna University, there are still four active cases, three students and one staffer. Since Jan. 21, there have been 99 cases on campus, including 85among students.
Prisons and state centers
There were 24 active cases at four federal prisons in the Valley, including 19 staff workers at the United States Penitentiary (USP) at Lewisburg.
The Lewisburg facility also reported one inmate case.
There was one inmate case at both the Allenwood Low- and Medium-Security facilities.
At USP Allenwood, there were two employee cases and no inmate cases. One inmate has died from COVID-19 at the facility, the only federal inmate death related to COVID in the Valley.
Since the pandemic began last March, 1,193 inmates at the four federal prisons have recovered, while 161 staffers have recovered. At Allewood's three facilities, 388 inmates and 973 staffers have been fully inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine. At Lewisburg, 198 inmates and 196 staffers have complete protection against the virus.
At SCI-Coal Township, there were 12 active cases, down one from Thursday's report. The state Department of Corrections reports five inmate cases and seven employee cases. One inmate has died due to complications from the disease.
There are less than five cases among people receiving services and employees at the Selinsgrove State Center and less than five people have died. The Department of Human Services does not provide specific numbers if they are less than five. There have been 331 cumulative cases at the facilitating, 231 of them among workers.
There are also less than five cases among workers and clients at the Danville State Hospital. There have also been less than five client deaths. There have been 79 cases at the facility, including 39 among clients.