COVID-19 hospitalizations jump locally; new cases flatten, but still high

·2 min read

Sep. 24—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have more than doubled this week in the local area.

There were 116 inpatients being treated for COVID-19 across Cambria, Somerset, Blair and Bedford counties in Friday's update by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. That includes 24 patients under intensive care and 21 on ventilators or breathing machines.

Last Friday, there were only 52 hospitalized in the four counties, including 12 in ICUs and nine on ventilators.

Statewide hospitalization resumed an upward trend after flattening late last week. There were 2,641 inpatients in Pennsylvania hospitals, including 662 in ICUs and 324 on ventilators on Friday, up from 2,337 hospitalizations one week ago.

The daily update of new COVID-19 cases and the Early Warning Monitoring System's weekly update showed a flattening of the current surge.

There were 5,071 new cases and 34 additional deaths in the daily report, bringing Pennsylvania's totals to 1,402,824 cases and 29,064 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

The state's seven-day rolling average dipped to 4,654 cases a day. It was the third consecutive small decrease after the average peaked at 4,774 cases a day on Tuesday. One week ago, the average was 4,562 cases a day.

The early warning system's report showed that 8.9% of all COVID-19 tests done over the past seven days came back as positive for the coronavirus. That was the same percent positivity reported for the previous seven days, after several weeks of increasing positivity.

Positivity rates for most counties in the region showed at least a small increase.

* In Cambria County, 9.8% of the tests were positive, up from 8.9% for the previous seven days.

* Somerset County's positivity was 10.8%, up from 10.4% last week.

* Bedford County still leads the region but saw the only drop in positivity, reporting 18.3% positivity this week, down from 19.1% last week.

* Blair County's positivity was 8.4%, up from 8.3% last week.

* Indiana County's positivity was 11.4, up from 11.3% last week.

* Clearfield County's positivity was 7.7%, up from 7.3% last week.

* Centre County's positivity was 9.1%, up from 8.6% last week.

* Westmoreland County's positivity was 9.7%, up from 7.9% last week.

Indiana County recorded two additional COVID-19 deaths Friday and Bedford, Clearfield and Westmoreland counties each added one death.

There were 93 new cases in Cambria, 46 in Somerset, 64 in Bedford, 71 in Blair, 43 in Clearfield, 73 in Centre and 175 in Westmoreland.

Combining Friday's updates from the state and Philadelphia health departments shows vaccine providers have administered 216,742 over the past seven days and there are 81,988 more Pennsylvanians fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The state totals are now 14,646,715 doses administered and 7,101,914 fully vaccinated.

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