Pennsylvania had nearly 10,000 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend and hospitalizations increased by more than 100 on Sunday and Monday as the fall surge continued across the commonwealth.

On Thursday, the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way will host a public health forum to provide updates on regional COVID-19 responses and concerns. The United Way will be joined by leaders from Geisinger Health System, Evangelical Community Hospital and Family Practice Center.

On Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) announced 9,675 new cases over the weekend — 5,199 on Sunday and 4,476 on Monday. Monday's total was the first time in five days there were fewer than 5,000 new cases in a single day.

There were 97 new cases in the Valley over the weekend, including 61 on Sunday and 36 on Monday. Fifty of the new cases were in Union County, according to state health officials.

Since March, there have been 269,613 cases of the novel coronavirus. State health officials estimate 68 percent of patients have already recovered.

Over the past seven days, the state has seen a case increase of 26,215 cases, statewide percent positivity of 9.6 percent, and 59 counties with substantial transmission status. There were 12 counties that had at least 100 new cases on Monday, including 841 cases in Philadelphia and 497 in Allegheny.

 

Hospitalizations

As of noon Monday, there are now 2,575 state residents hospitalized due to COVID-19, nearing the April peak of 2,800. There are 135 more patients hospitalized Monday than Sunday and 558 residents are being treated in intensive care units statewide. There are 269 residents being treated on ventilators across the state, up by four from Sunday.

Locally the number of patients being treated in hospitals has also increased. There are now 75 patients being treated in three local hospitals, including 51 at Geisinger in Danville, 14 at Evangelical Community Hospital and 10 at Geisinger-Shamokin. Geisinger in Danville has 23 residents in the ICU and is treating six on ventilators. Four of Evangelical's patients are in the ICU, including one on a ventilator. Two of Geisinger-Shamokin's 10 patients are in the ICU.

Locally there were 61 new cases in the Valley on Sunday, the majority of them in Union County, which surpassed 1,000 total cases. On Sunday, DOH announced 37 new cases in Union County, 18 in Snyder, 14 in Northumberland and two in Montour. On Monday, there were another 17 cases in Union County, 16 in Snyder, six in Northumberland one in Montour.

Since March, there have now been 4,303 cases in the Valley: 1,945 in Northumberland County, 1,016 in Union, 702 in Snyder and 367 in Montour.

There was one new death in Northumberland County, the 118th in that county, and one in Montour, the 14th in that county. There have been 162 deaths in the Valley linked to the novel coronavirus. Statewide, there have been 9,325 deaths since March, an increase of 51 deaths since Saturday.

Since March, there have been 801 cases at Valley nursing homes, including 561 in Northumberland, 102 in Montour, 101 in Snyder and 37 in Union. Of the Valley's 162 deaths, 132 are linked to long-term care facilities.

The number of active cases at Bucknell and Susquehanna universities has slowed. Susquehanna has 48 active cases — including 47 students — while Bucknell has 32 active cases as of Monday morning. Both universities are scheduled to send students home to finish the fall semester remotely at the end of this week.

There are nine active cases at SCI-Coal Township, including four inmates and five staffers. The number of active cases has declined at SCI-Coal Township, while the state numbers have increased to 931 active cases, including 591 inmates.

There are still 41 active cases at federal prisons in Union County. At three facilities in Allenwood, there are 38 active inmate cases and one active staff case. There are two active staff cases at USP-Lewisburg.

 

Community forum

The United Way's community health forum will be held virtually on Zoom and Facebook Livestream at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. For more information and to join the event, visit: www.gsvuw.org/healthforum.

During the event, there will be a panel of speakers from the Susquehanna Valley’s health care providers. The event will feature local leaders such as Dr. Jaewon Ryu, president and CEO of Geisinger Health System; Kendra Aucker, president and CEO of Evangelical Community Hospital; and Benjamin Willard, CFO of Family Practice Center.

"We are proud and thankful for our health providers’ responses," said Joanne Troutman, president and CEO of the local United Way. "We all owe a debt of gratitude to all of the doctors, nurses, and other front-line workers keeping our region safe and healthy every day. And, we are hopeful that our region will continue to adapt and overcome from this pandemic."

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