The Daily Item
State Health officials announced 76 new COVID-19 cases in the Valley on Tuesday with Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties all reporting at least 18 new cases.
Statewide, the Department of Health registered 3,732 new cases in its latest update, the seventh consecutive day with at least 3,000 new cases. Additionally, there were 83 deaths linked to the coronavirus across Pennsylvania, including one death in Snyder County.
The 76 new cases in the Valley includes 33 in Northumberland County, 20 in Union County and 18 in Snyder. There were also five new cases in Montour County.
In the first two weeks of September, Montour County has reported 74 new cases; it had 75 cases in all of August. In Northumberland County, there were 473 cases in August and 489 cases in the first two weeks of September. In Snyder County, there have been 157 new cases so far in September after 155 cases in August. In Union County, there have been 227 cases so far in September after 151 in August.
All 67 Pennsylvania counties are reporting high community transmission of COVID according to the Centers for Disease Control. High transmission means a county has reported at least 100 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week.
According to state data, all 67 counties reported new cases in Tuesday’s report, led by 248 in Allegheny County. Thirteen counties reported at least 100 cases.
There were no new cases linked to Valley nursing homes on Tuesday.
Pennsylvania residents who are unvaccinated against the coronavirus were far more likely to contract COVID-19, become hospitalized and die than those who got the shot, health officials said Tuesday in the first public release of data on so-called “breakthrough” infections in the state.
More than 35,000 people who were fully vaccinated have tested positive for the virus since January, representing only 6 percent of all cases statewide, according to the data released Tuesday. More than 1,800 vaccinated people were hospitalized and 213 died — both representing a tiny fraction of all COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths since the beginning of the year, the data show.
Unvaccinated people and those who have yet to be fully vaccinated had seven times the risk of contracting the virus and nearly eight times the risk of death as those offered full protection by a vaccine, according to the data.
The relative scarcity of milder breakthrough cases among residents who got the vaccine shows the shots are working, state health officials said.
“My hope is is that this data encourages everyone who has not been vaccinated to speak to their doctor about getting the vaccine as soon as possible,” Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said at a news conference in Lancaster.
HospitalizationsAs of noon Tuesday, 2,308 patients were in Pennsylvania hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms, up 69 from Monday. Hospitalizations have increased by 125 in the last two days.
Of those hospitalized, 580 were being treated in intensive care units (ICUs), up 29 from Monday, and 271 were on ventilators, a decrease of 16.
Among 67 patients in Valley medical facilities — level with Monday’s report — there were 17 patients in intensive care units at Geisinger in Danville, five at Evangelical and none at Geisinger-Shamokin.
Geisinger’s Danville location was also treating 10 patients on ventilators; Evangelical had three patients on ventilators.
There were 42 patients at Geisinger’s main campus in Danville, 17 at Evangelical and eight patients at Geisinger-Shamokin. According to Evangelical hospitals, 15 of the 17 patients hospitalized are unvaccinated.
Prisons, state facilitiesThere were new COVID cases at the federal prison in Allenwood along with a new staff case at the State Corectional Institution (SCI) in Coal Township in the latest data from the Bureau of Prisons and state Department of Corrections (DOC).
The state DOC reported six active staff cases at the SCI-Coal Township on Tuesday, up one from Monday’s report. It is the second-highest total in the 24-prison system: SCI-Somerset has eight active staff cases.
There were 62 inmate cases statewide, including 17 at SCI Chester, but none at SCI-Coal Township.
There is one inmate and one staff COVID-19 infection at the U.S. Penitentiary (USP) in Allenwood. There were no cases at Allenwood’s low-security or medium security sites. A staff case at USP Lewisburg was also still active.
USP Lewisburg and USP Allenwood both remained in the BOP’s Level 3 of COVID modifications on Tuesday. 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.
There were still active COVID-19 cases among persons receiving services and staff members at the Selinsgrove Center on Monday. 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 and staffers in the boys unit. There were staff cases in the girls unit, less than five reported.
No active cases were reported at the Danville State Hospital.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.