State health officials have added 14 COVID-19 cases tied to Valley long-term care facilities and added four more deaths, including the first two at care facilities outside of Northumberland County.
Locally, Wednesday's data release from the state Department of Health (DOH) added 30 total cases to the Valley — 19 in Northumberland County and 11 in Snyder County — which are part of an increase of 898 statewide. The state also announced 39 new deaths, the largest day-to-day increase in deaths since June 25. According to the DOH, 8,062 Pennsylvania residents have died due to complications from the novel coronavirus.
Also on Wednesday, Susquehanna University reported its first lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a special update and Bloomsburg University reported four new cases, the smallest increase since an outbreak was first reported there on Aug. 19.
In Northumberland County, there were 19 new cases and two news deaths. The deaths were both added to separate statewide databases tracking overall cases and deaths, and county-wide data on long-term care facilities. They were the 49th and 50th COVID-related death in the county, including 44 at long-term care facilities. The state also linked two Snyder County deaths to long-term care facilities, the first two in that county.
There have been 1,819 cases in the Valley since March, including 919 in Northumberland County, 453 in Union, 283 in Snyder and 164 in Montour. State health officials removed nine cases from Union County's total on Wednesday, the fifth time this month the state has removed cases from Union County's total.
Most of the new cases in recent days in Northumberland County are linked to long-term care facilities. There are 74 active COVID-19 cases at the Mountain View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Coal Township, according to a letter posted to the center's website on Tuesday night. According to the report, there are 56 active resident cases and 18 active staff cases. In addition, they are reporting 10 residents and two workers with new onset of respiratory symptoms.
There have been 413 cases in Valley long-term care facilities, including 335 in Northumberland County, according to the latest state data. In Northumberland County long-term care facilities, there have been 259 residents and 76 staffers infected in seven facilities. That marks an increase of five residents and five staffers since Tuesday.
A staffer at one Montour County facility has tested positive, while 47 residents and seven staffers at one Snyder County facility and 16 residents and seven staffers at six Union County facilities have tested positive.
Statewide, the 898 new cases push the total number of cases in Pennsylvania to 152,544.
The State Department of Health estimates 81 percent of those who have tested positive have recovered.
Since March, 65 Valley residents have died due to complications from the novel coronavirus, including 50 in Northumberland — 44 at long-term care facilities — six in Union, five in Montour and four in Snyder.
There was a slight decrease in the number of Pennsylvanians hospitalized with the virus. There are now 421 residents hospitalized, down eight from Tuesday. It remains well below the peak of nearly 2,800 in April. There are 54 people being treated on ventilators, down one from Monday. Across the Valley, 25 people are being treated — an increase of four from Tuesday's release — including 10 at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, seven at Geisinger Shamokin and eight at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg. One of the patients being treated at Geisinger's Danville campus is on a ventilator.
Bloomsburg University has now had 352 total cases, including two among employees. Of the student cases, six are isolating on campus, five off campus and two have gone home. The rest, 337 students, have completed their quarantine period.
Bucknell University's case numbers remain unchanged from Monday, with two active cases and 18 cumulative cases. The school has conducted 23,044 tests.
Susquehanna's first case follows the arrival of juniors and sophomores over the weekend, which completed a staggered return to campus.
50,000 download app
Gov. Tom Wolf said 50,000 Pennsylvanians have downloaded the COVID Alert PA app released this week.
“I encourage all Pennsylvanians to download the app on a personal mobile device to help in the fight against COVID-19,” Gov. Wolf said. “The more people who download the app, the more effective it will be in helping to stop the spread of COVID. Please download it today and make your phone part of the fight.”
COVID Alert PA is a free, voluntary mobile app developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in partnership with NearForm, UPenn and MIT Lincoln Laboratory using the Apple and Google Exposure Notification System. The app’s features include an interactive COVID-19 symptom checker, opt-in for alerts for potential exposures to the virus, updates on the latest public health data about COVID-19 in PA and advice for what to do if you have a potential exposure to COVID-19.
The app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa.”
The app is designed with privacy at the forefront. The app does not use GPS, location services, or any movement or geographical information. It will never collect, transmit or store personal information. In other words, it is completely anonymous.