COVID-19 hospitalizations across Pennsylvania dropped below 5,000 for the time in more than a month on Thursday, even as the Department of Health announced another 7,265 cases and 313 deaths.
As of noon Thursday, state data show 4,980 patients being treated at Pennsylvania hospitals. It is the lowest total since there were 4,982 patients on Dec. 2. Hospitalizations in the Valley also dropped by 13 on Thursday to 228 patients at three facilities.
The 313 deaths across Pennsylvania on Thursday marked the second day in a row with at least 300 deaths and the seventh time in 10 days with at least 200 deaths. Since Tuesday, there have been 889 COVID-related deaths in Pennsylvania.
There were four new deaths in the Valley in the latest data and 139 new cases. State officials announced 48 cases in both Montour and Northumberland counties, 29 in Union County and 14 in Snyder.
The state issued the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 21,450 more people in its latest update, the second-largest one-day increase since the vaccine began being administered last month. There are also 52,125 residents who have received the first and second doses, including 1,569 in the Valley. There have been 8,355 people who have received the first dose in the four-county region, including 3,336 in Northumberland County, 2,622 in Montour, 1,548 in Union and 849 in Snyder.
So far, 321,404 residents have received the first dose of a COVID vaccine across Pennsylvania.
Hospitalizations continued to decline on Thursday. There are now 4,980 residents in Pennsylvania, down 89 from Wednesday. Virus patients being treated in intensive care units (ICUs) also decreased to 1,013, down 22. The number of patients being treated on ventilators decreased on Wednesday to 626.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Valley hospitals dropped by 13 to 228, including 39 in ICUs, and 26 on ventilators.
Geisinger Medical Center in Danville is treating 179 patients in its Danville facility, a decrease of 10. The hospital is now treating 30 patients in the ICU and 23 on ventilators.
At Geisinger Shamokin, seven patients were being treated. There are no patients in the ICU or on ventilators in the Northumberland County facility.
At Evangelical Community Hospital, 42 patients were hospitalized, down three from Wednesday. Nine are in ICUs and three are being treated on ventilators.
Of the Valley's 13,078 cases, 1,711 have been linked to long-term care facilities, with seven new cases in the latest data release.
In Northumberland County long-term care facilities, 839 residents have been infected, and there have been 211 staff cases.
In Montour, 217 residents and 53 staff members have tested positive. There have been 19 deaths at six affected facilities.
Snyder County's numbers held steady again on Thursday with 115 resident and 31 staff cases. Twenty virus-related deaths have been reported.
At seven Union County facilities, there have been 211 resident cases, 34 staff member cases and 24 deaths.
As of Thursday morning, there were 268 active cases at federal prison facilities in Union County, up two from the previous day.
There were 126 active cases at Allenwood's medium-security unit — 99 inmates and 27 staffers — along with 40 at the low-security unit — 29 inmates and 14 staffers. At USP-Allenwood, there were 20 active cases, including 19 staffers. At USP-Lewisburg, there were still 78 active cases, 54 inmates and 24 staffers.
At SCI-Coal Township, according to data from the state Department of Corrections, there were still 132 active inmate cases and 17 staffers.