The number of positive COVID-19 tests statewide dipped below 15 percent last week for the first time since Dec. 4, while the state Department of Health announced another 5,338 cases on Monday.
Statewide, the positivity rate was 14.4 percent for the seven-day window ending on Friday. Montour (17.7 percent) and Snyder (17.1) percent both had rates higher than the state according to the state's Early Warning Dashboard, updated each Monday. Northumberland's positive test rate dropped to six points to 14.1 percent, while Union County's was down more than five percent to 10.4 percent.
There were 209 new cases in the Valley in Monday's newest data release. State health officials said there are 133 new cases in Montour, 37 in Northumberland, 35 in Union and four in Snyder. The only new local death was in Snyder County, the 50th COVID-related death in that county. There were 83 deaths statewide.
Hospitalizations statewide increased by 31 cases to 5,232 on Monday, following a 97-patient decrease reported Sunday.
Virus patients being treated in intensive care units (ICUs) increased slightly to 1,070, up by eight. The number of patients being treated on ventilators increased for the third consecutive day. The state reported 663 patients on ventilators, an increase of 23.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Valley hospitals is now 242 — down 2 from Sunday — including 42 in ICUs, and 24 on ventilators.
Geisinger Medical Center in Danville had 186 patients in its Danville facility, an increase of five. The hospital is now treating 32 patients in the ICU and 19 on ventilators.
At Geisinger Shamokin, 11 patients were being treated, including two in the ICU. No COVID-19 patients at the facility were being treated on a ventilator.
At Evangelical Community Hospital, 45 patients were hospitalized, down two from Sunday. Eight are in ICUs and five are being treated on ventilators.
Of the Valley's 12,771 cases, 1,647 have been linked to long-term care facilities, with 11 new cases in the latest data release.
In Northumberland County long-term care facilities, 835 residents have been infected, and there have been 205 staff cases. At seven affected facilities, there have been 164 deaths.
In Montour, 205 residents — up 12 — and 53 staff members have tested positive. There have been 15 deaths at six affected facilities.
Snyder County's numbers held steady on Monday with 113 resident and 20 staff cases. Twenty virus-related deaths have been reported.
At seven Union County facilities, there have been 183 resident cases — on more than Sunday — 33 staff member cases and 19 deaths.
The state issued the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 36,763 more people in its latest update. There are also 21,291 residents who have received the first and second doses, including 1,049 in the Valley. There have been 6,698 people who have received the first down in the four-county region, including 2,536 in Northumberland County, 2,271 in Montour, 1,281 in Union and 610 in Snyder.
So far, 264,380 residents have received the first dose of a COVID vaccine.