Pennsylvania's Department of Health registered less than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases for the sixth day in a row on Friday, confirming 2,778 cases across the commonwealth.
State health officials also announced another 67 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus, including six in the Valley. There were three deaths in Northumberland County, two in Snyder and one on Montour, pushing the Valley's total to 534 since the pandemic began last March.
The positive test rate statewide dropped to 6.5 percent this week, the 10th week in a row it has dropped. Positive test rates dropped in all four Valley counties, including Union County where Bucknell University now has 190 active cases. According to the state's early warning dashboard, over the last seven days the positivity rate in Montour County has dropped from 6.2 to 5.8 percent, from 9.7 to 7.5 percent in Northumberland County, from 10 percent to 4.9 percent in Snyder County and Union County, where it dropped from 5.1 percent to 3.4 percent.
There were 40 new COVID-19 cases in the Valley on Friday, including 22 in Northumberland County — including six cases at long-term care facilities — nine in Snyder County, seven in Montour County and two in Union County.
Statewide, 1,387,443 residents have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 479,797 have received both doses.
In the Valley, 31,559 residents have gotten the first shot, while 10,841 have received both doses.
Bucknell is reporting 190 active cases — up 17 from Thursday. The university reported 18 new positive tests on Thursday. According to Bucknell's dashboard, 186 of the active cases are among students and 212 students remain in isolation, up 10 from Thursday.
Susquehanna University is reporting nine active cases on campus, including six students and three staffers. The university has 16 cases since students returned last month.
The number of hospitalized COVID patients dropped by 63 on Friday. Statewide, as of noon Thursday, 2,061 patients were being treated in Pennsylvania facilities. Hospitalizations peaked on Dec. 16 at 6,346. Last spring’s peak was 2,600 in mid-April.
Statewide there were 441 residents being treated in intensive care units, down 26 from Thursday, while 266 patients were being treated on ventilators, up 11 from Thursday.
In Valley health care facilities, 66 patients were being treated for the novel coronavirus, down three from Thursday.
There were 49 patients being treated by Geisinger in Montour County, with 13 in ICUs and nine on ventilators. At Geisinger-Shamokin, eight patients were being treated. At Evangelical Community Hospital, there were nine patients, including one in the ICU.
According to state data, there are seven new cases in Valley long-term care facilities since the most recent data release. As of noon Wednesday, there have been 2,025 cases at 35 locations across the Valley, including nine new cases on Friday.
The state does not indicate how many cases are active at long-term care facilities, just numbers of cases since the pandemic began last March.
In Montour County, there have been 281 resident and 68 staff cases at six locations. There have been 39 deaths at the facilities.
In Northumberland County, 20 facilities have combined for 991 resident cases — up six on Friday — and 242 staff cases. There have been 206 combined deaths.
In Snyder County, there have been 130 resident cases and 33 staffers at two locations. There have been 20 combined deaths at the two facilities.
In Union County, 236 resident cases and 44 staff cases have been confirmed — along with 41 total deaths — at seven nursing homes.
There are 39 active cases at the Selinsgrove Center — up three from Thursday — including 17 people receiving services and 22 staffers. Since the pandemic began, there have been 312 cases at the location, including 89 residents and 223 staffers.
There are no active cases at the Danville State Hospital, which has had 68 cases since the pandemic began last March.