CDC file


Pennsylvania registered its lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since the first week of July, even as the number of patients hospitalized due to complications of the coronavirus increased for the first time in a month.

On Wednesday, the state Department of Health registered 15,205 new cases over the past seven days. It is the fewest number of cases since 11,872 were registered on July 6. It marked the fifth consecutive week with fewer than 20,000 new cases.

In the Valley, there were 213 new cases, down one from last week’s total.

There were 29 new cases in Montour County, 123 in Northumberland, 37 in Snyder and 24 in Union County. Montour and Union counties registered fewer COVID cases this week compared to last week, while there were at least 10 more cases in Northumberland and Snyder counties than a week ago.

Statewide, 115 more people died from COVID, the eighth consecutive week with at least 100 deaths across Pennsylvania. No Valley residents died due to complications from COVID-19, state data show.

According to data being tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Johns Hopkins University, the number of new cases nationally decreased by 6 percent over the last week, while deaths were down 1 percent. Hospitalizations were down 9 percent. Statewide, the number of new cases of COVID was down 20 percent, hospitalizations were up six percent and the number of deaths was down 11 percent.

Three of four Valley counties have medium levels of community transmission this week following an update from the CDC. Montour County is registering high levels according to CDC data and metrics. Community levels are determined by using a combination of three metrics — new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days.

HospitalizationsAs of noon Wednesday, there were 1,186 hospitalizations statewide, up 40 from last week’s total and the first increase in five weeks. There were 141 patients statewide being treated in the ICU, and 68 on ventilators, up seven.

There were 50 COVID patients in Valley hospitals, up six from last week. That total includes 45 at Geisinger-Danville, five at Geisinger-Shamokin and two at Evangelical Community Hospital.

Both patients at Evangelical were vaccinated. Geisinger Medical Center in Danville had 45 patients hospitalized — up 3 from last week — five in the ICU. At Geisinger Shamokin, there were five patients hospitalized. Five of Geisinger Danville’s patients are being treated on a ventilator.

State facilities, prisonsThe United States Penitentiary (USP) in Lewisburg and USP Allenwood have been upgraded to Leval 1 COVID restrictions this week. The Allenwood location is back in Level 1 after a week in Level 2.

There were 13 combined cases at three federal facilities in Allenwood, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons. There are 10 active inmate cases at the low-security unit, along with three inmate cases at the U.S. Penitentiary (USP) in Allenwood. There is one active case at USP-Lewisburg.

Nationwide, 14 facilities were at Level 3, the highest level of restrictions, 59 were at Level 2 and 24 were at Level 1. Institution operational levels (Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3) 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 SCI-Coal Township the state Department of Corrections is reporting six cases among inmates and two among staffers.

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