The Daily Item
The state Department of Health registered 5,489 new COVID cases on Thursday and Pennsylvania surpassed 29,000 COVID-related deaths since the pandemic began 18 months ago.
Thursday’s total was the fourth time in eight days with more than 5,000 cases and the eighth time in nine days with at least 4,000 cases. There were 89 new cases in the four-county region, the third day in a row with at least 80 cases.
Across the Valley, there were 48 cases in Northumberland County, 24 in Snyder, 14 in Union and three in Montour.
All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have high levels of community transmission of COVID, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which means they are all seeing at least 100 new cases per 100,000 residents over the previous seven days. Each county had at least one new case on Thursday with 21 reporting at least 100 new cases, including 513 in Allegheny County.
Statewide there were 32 deaths linked to the coronavirus — 166 over the past three days — including the 380th death in Northumberland County. Since March 2020, there have been 29,030 COVID-related deaths among state residents.
It was the third consecutive day with a death in Northumberland County. There have been 22 COVID-related deaths in the Valley this month. There were three in August and six in July.
Since last March, there have been 338 deaths in the Valley tied to long-term care facilities, including 224 in Northumberland County and 2,244 total cases. There were two new cases in the Valley on Wednesday, one resident case in Snyder County and a staff case in Union.
The state does not provide active case counts for long-term care facilities, just cumulative totals dating back to March 2020.
State health officials reported more than 12.8 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Pennsylvania and 67.8 percent of residents over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated.
HospitalizationsAs of noon Thursday, there were 2,553 patients in Pennsylvania hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms. On July 13, that number was 243. It has increased every week since, surpassing 2,000 patients on Sept. 7.
Of those hospitalized, 633 were being treated in intensive care units (ICUs) — up 20 — and 311 were being treated on ventilators, down three.
Among 92 patients in Valley medical facilities there were 20 patients in intensive care units at Geisinger in Danville, five at Evangelical and none at Geisinger-Shamokin.
Geisinger’s Danville location was also treating nine patients on ventilators.
At Geisinger’s main campus in Danville, there were 54 COVID-19 positive patients. There were 27 patients at Evangelical and 11 at Geisinger-Shamokin.
According to Evangelical hospital, 22 of the 27 patients hospitalized are unvaccinated.
Across Geisinger’s system, as of Tuesday there were 132 patients hospitalized, and 88 percent were not fully vaccinated, hospital officials said. Since May 1, the system has had 1,153 COVID patients hospitalized, 89 percent were not vaccinated.
Prisons, state facilitiesThere were still four active cases at the prisons in Union County, level with Wednesday’s data. At the medium-security unit in Allenwood, there was one staff case, and were three active staff cases at the U.S. Penitentiary (USP) in Allenwood, up one. There were no active cases at USP Lewisburg.
USP Lewisburg and USP Allenwood both remained in the Bureau of Prison’s (BOP) Level 3 of COVID modifications on Thursday. 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 reported 95 of 98 federal prisons were in Level 3 modifications.
The state Department of Corrections reported eight active staff cases at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Coal Township on Thursday, up one. There were 110 inmate cases statewide — down six from Wednesday — including 74 at SCI Chester, but none at SCI Coal Township. There are 108 staff cases statewide, up three from Wednesday’s report.
There were still active COVID-19 cases among persons receiving services and staff members at the Selinsgrove Center on Thursday. The cases were both listed as less than five for residents, while there are 8 staff cases. 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 unit, but there is at least one new resident case in the female unit. Both units had less than five staff cases.
No active cases were reported at the Danville State Hospital.