Pennsylvania registered 349 new COVID-19 related deaths on Wednesday, the fourth-highest single-day total since the pandemic began last March. There was at least one new death linked to the novel coronavirus in each Valley county according to the Department of Health, pushing the Valley to more than 400 total deaths.
Statewide, health officials announced 7,960 new cases on Wednesday, including 168 in the four Valley counties. Union County has 108 new cases, the second time in five days with more than 100 in that county and the largest one-day increase in that county since officials began tracking data last year.
There were also 80 new cases in Northumberland County and 53 more in Snyder. Montour County's cumulative total dropped by 73 cases Wednesday, while state officials reported 14 new cases in a separate county database. The reduction comes as the state continues to reconcile testing data out of Geisinger. There were 28 counties with at least 100 new cases.
Hospitalizations continued to decline on Wednesday. There are now 5,069 residents in Pennsylvania, down 135 from Tuesday. Virus patients being treated in intensive care units (ICUs) also decreased to 1,035, down 25. The number of patients being treated on ventilators increased slightly on Wednesday to 645, up six.
The state issued the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 18,649 more people in its latest update. There are also 42,634 residents who have received the first and second doses, including 1,434 in the Valley. There have been 8,189 people who have received the first dose in the four-county region, including 3,247 in Northumberland County, 2,576 in Montour, 1,539 in Union and 827 in Snyder.
So far, 299,954 residents have received the first dose of a COVID vaccine.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Valley hospitals dropped by seven to 241, including 41 in ICUs, and 26 on ventilators.
Geisinger Medical Center in Danville is treating 189 patients in its Danville facility, a decrease of four. The hospital is now treating 33 patients in the ICU and 20 on ventilators.
At Geisinger Shamokin, 10 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 Tuesday. Eight are in ICUs and six are being treated on ventilators.
Of the Valley's 13,078 cases, 1,704 have been linked to long-term care facilities, with 23 new cases in the latest data release. Thirteen deaths at regional nursing homes were added to the total on Wednesday. Of the 401 deaths in the Valley since March, 231 are tied to nursing homes.
In Northumberland County long-term care facilities, 841 residents have been infected, and there have been 207 staff cases. At seven affected facilities, there have been 169 deaths, with five new deaths attributed to nursing homes on Wednesday.
In Montour, 214 residents and 53 staff members have tested positive. There have been 18 deaths at six affected facilities, an increase of three deaths since Tuesday.
Snyder County's numbers held steady again on Wednesday with 115 resident and 31 staff cases. Twenty virus-related deaths have been reported.
At seven Union County facilities, there have been 209 resident cases — up 12 from Tuesday — 34 staff member cases and 24 deaths. There have been five new deaths attributed to county nursing homes in the latest data.
Prisons, state facilities
The number of active cases at four federal prisons in Union County increased, according to the Bureau of Prisons. As of Wednesday morning, there were 266 active cases.
There were 122 active cases at Allenwood's medium-security unit — 95 inmates and 27 staffers — along with 40 at the low-security unit — 26 inmates and 14 staffers. At USP-Allenwood, there were 20 active cases, including 19 staffers. At USP-Lewisburg, there were still 84 active cases, 55 inmates and 29 staffers.
There were three new active cases at SCI-Coal Township according to data from the state Department of Corrections. There were still 131 active inmate cases and 18 staffers, an increase of three staff cases since Tuesday.
Active cases increased slightly at the Selinsgrove Center on Wednesday with 79 active cases — up six — and the Danville State Hospital has 16 active cases, down three.