New cases of COVID-19 continue to fall across the U.S. and in Pennsylvania.
For the latest reporting week, running March 22 to 28, the Keystone State reported 4,735 cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. That’s down from 5,157 cases the prior week.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported fewer than 1,000 cases each day during the latest week, and March 22 was the highest count for the period at 880 new cases.
As of Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tallied just under 140,000 weekly cases across the country. Amid the declining cases, the U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to end the COVID-19 national emergency early. The vote was largely symbolic, and the administration of President Joe Biden previously announced the measure would end May 11.
New deaths from COVID-19 in Pennsylvania have also fallen, though 90 individuals still succumbed to the virus over the course of the most recent reporting week. The state’s death toll now sits at 50,713.
All state metrics for hospitalizations declined, as well.
According to the department of health, 610 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 across the commonwealth, with 79 in adult intensive care units and 49 on ventilators. More than 3,300 ICU beds are staffed, the state reports.
COVID-19 community levels in Pennsylvania
As of Thursday, the CDC reports four counties in Pennsylvania are at a medium COVID-19 community level. That’s down from five last week, and the remaining 63 counties are at low.
Crawford and Mercer counties remain at medium this week — no change from the week prior — and Elk and Cameron counties have been moved from low to medium.
Three counties at medium last week, Sullivan, Bradford and Susquehanna, are back at low.
The CDC updates the community levels each week based on new cases and hospital admissions per 100,000 in population, as well as a seven-day average for the percent of staffed, COVID-occupied hospital beds.
Under reduced federal guidance, masks are recommended in counties at high, and those at greater risk for severe illness should consider masking at medium.
COVID-19 in Centre County
In Centre County, cases declined over the latest week from 95 to 63, according to CDC data through Wednesday. The county’s case rate is 38.8 per 100,000 people.
Centre County is among those at a low community level as of Thursday. The positivity rate there also continues to fall, now at 5.65% as of Monday, and the number of test performed has declined by around 8%.
Mount Nittany Health reports nine COVID patients as of Thursday. That’s down from a high of 13 this week, recorded Monday. Patients currently hospitalized range in age from 27 to 86, and one is in the ICU.
The free COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for most Americans and readily available. To find a shot near you, visit vaccines.gov.