The Daily Item
The state Department of Health on Thursday reported the most new COVID-19 infections since April 13 and the third-highest single-day death total since April 27.
Statewide there were 5,786 new infections. It was the third time this month with more than 5,000 in a single day, according to data from Health officials. There were 72 new Pennsylvania deaths, bringing the three-day total to 200.
In the first 16 days of September 2021, 533 Pennsylvania residents’ deaths have been linked to the virus. There were 469 in all of September 2020.
Cases continued to climb in the Valley, too. The 102 new cases marked the third time this month with more than 100. The Valley hasn’t had 100 new cases three times in a month since February. There were at least 12 new cases in each Valley county — 51 in Northumberland, 22 in Union, 17 in Snyder and 12 in Montour.
Three virus-related deaths were added in the Valley, one each in Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. There has been a COVID-19-related death in Snyder County in each of the last four days.
All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have high levels of community transmission of COVID according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High transmission means a county has reported at least 100 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week.
Every county in Pennsylvania reported at least three new cases of COVID-19 and 19 reported 104 or more. Allegheny County had the most in the state with 574, followed by Philadelphia with 348, York with 261 and Lancaster with 260.
HospitalizationsAs of noon Thursday, there were 2,323 patients in Pennsylvania hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms, down 10 from Wednesday. The total had increased by 150 in the previous three days.
Of those hospitalized, 560 were being treated in intensive care units (ICUs), down four, and 277 were being treated on ventilators, down three.
Among 74 patients in Valley medical facilities — up five from Wednesday, and the second consecutive day with an increase — there were 14 patients in intensive care units at Geisinger in Danville, four at Evangelical and none at Geisinger-Shamokin. The Danville total increased by two from Wednesday
Geisinger’s Danville location was also treating 8 patients on ventilators, three fewer than on Wednesday. Evangelical had three patients on ventilators for at least the second consecutive day.
All of the newly admitted patients were at Geisinger’s main campus in Danville, pushing the total there to 43. There were 19 patients at Evangelical and 12 at Geisinger-Shamokin. According to Evangelical hospital, 18 of the 19 patients hospitalized are unvaccinated.
On campusThere were 13 active cases at Bucknell University, the school’s COVID dashboard shows after it was updated Wednesday morning. Eleven of the cases were among students and 10 students are in isolation.
Bucknell is reporting 94.1 percent of its campus community is fully vaccinated.
Prisons, state facilities
There were six cases at the prisons in Union County, down two. At the medium-security unit in Allenwood, there were two staff cases, and there was one active inmate and two staff cases at the U.S. Penitentiary (USP) in Allenwood. There was also one staff case at USP Lewisburg, one fewer staff case and one fewer inmate case than reported Wednesday.
USP Lewisburg and USP Allenwood both remained in the BOP’s Level 3 of COVID modifications on Wednesday. The modifications 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 each level, an infection prevention procedure or modification to operations such as inmate programming and services may be made to mitigate the risk and spread of COVID-19 in accordance with BOP pandemic guidance. BOP pandemic guidance follows and integrates guidance and direction from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Department of Justice, and established medical best practices.
The BOP reports 93 of 98 federal prisons are in Level 3 modifications.
The state Department of Corrections reported six active staff cases at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Coal Township on Thursday, the same number reported since Tuesday. There were 112 inmate cases statewide, an increase of 50, including 82 at SCI Chester, but none at SCI Coal Township. There are 81 staff cases statewide — an increase of eight — including 14 at SCI Cambria.
There were still active COVID-19 cases among persons receiving services and staff members at the Selinsgrove Center on Wednesday. The cases were both listed as less than five. The state does not release precise numbers unless there are more than five to avoid identifying a patient.
At the North Central Secure Treatment Unit juvenile facility in Danville, there were no cases among residents at the boys or girls units. Both units had less than five staff cases.
No active cases were reported at the Danville State Hospital.