The Daily Item
The number of new COVID-19 cases dropped statewide for the fifth consecutive week on Wednesday, the Department of Health also registered more than 100 deaths linked to the coronavirus for the fifth week in a row.
Statewide, Health officials registered 10,269 new cases, the fewest since Nov. 23. In the Valley, there were 25 more cases this week locally than a week ago (188-163)
Across Pennsylvania, there were 158 deaths linked to the coronavirus. There have been at least 100 COVID-related deaths statewide every week except for one since Aug. 10.
There were two Valley deaths linked to COVID this week, both in Northumberland County. Montour County hasn’t recorded a COVID-19 death in 14 consecutive weeks.
Montour County had 34 cases, Northumberland had 113 — 20 more than last week — while Snyder had 20 and Union County 21.
Trends in the region are similar to what is going on nationwide, according to data being tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Johns Hopkins University. The data show cases are down 16 percent but deaths are down 21 percent in the last seven days.
Hospitalizations were down 8 percent over the same time period across the nation.
Statewide, hospitalizations were down 44 in the last week, the fifth consecutive week the total has decreased. Across Pennsylvania, there were 1,214 COVID patients in hospitals.
Geisinger Medical Center in Danville was treating 29 COVID patients, and Geisinger in Shamokin is treating four. Three of the patients at Geisinger in Danville are in an intensive care unit (ICU) and one is on a ventilator — both down from last week. There are two patients in the ICU at Shamokin. None of the 11 patients at Evangelical Community Hospital were in the ICU or on ventilators.
State facilities, prisons
Federal prisons in Allenwood and Lewisburg joined 66 other facilities at Level 1 COVID restrictions, the lowest of the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) three levels. There are two inmate cases at the United States Penitentiary (USP) in Lewisburg.
Nationwide, four facilities were at Level 3, the highest level of restrictions — down three from last week’s report — and 25 were at Level 2. 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 were still two active inmate cases, according to the state Department of Corrections. There were nine active COVID-19 infections among staff at the facility, the most among all facilities in the state. There were 48 active inmate cases and 42 active staff cases in state prisons statewide.
There were five active cases among those receiving services at the Selinsgrove Center, along with 11 staff cases, both the same as reported last week.
There were no client cases at the Danville State Hospital, while there was at least one staff case. There were no cases at the juvenile detention facilities in Danville. The state Department of Human Services does not release full data unless five or more people are positive.