After appearing to level off somewhat, Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising again.
Across the state, 3,001 patients are being treated for the coronavirus in hospitals, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported Thursday. That represents an increase of 110 over the previous day. The department says 680 patients are being treated in intensive care units.
This is the first day Pennsylvania has reported more than 3,000 hospitalizations since Feb. 5. New hospital cases had appeared to flatten, even dipping slightly within the last week before rising in the last few days. The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals remains well below the peak of about 6,300 last December.
Nonetheless, COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen sharply over the last three months. In July, less than 250 people were being treated in hospital beds for the coronavirus.
Health care professionals continue to stress the COVID-19 vaccine offers the strongest protection against serious illness and death due to the coronavirus. From Jan. 1 through early September, 95% of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Pennsylvania weren’t fully vaccinated, the health department said. In that same span, 97% of the state’s deaths tied to COVID-19 involved those who weren’t fully vaccinated.
To date, 69.3% of Pennsylvania adults have been fully vaccinated. The state is also ramping up efforts to ensure those eligible for COVID-19 booster shots have access to them.
The health department reported 5,819 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, representing a bit of an uptick. New cases rose steadily throughout the summer but had shown signs of leveling off in recent days. The number of new cases has generally averaged in the 4,000-5,000 range over the past couple of weeks.
In addition, the state reported 92 additional coronavirus deaths Thursday. Since the pandemic began, 29,814 deaths have been tied to COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. Nearly half of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.
Hundreds in central Pennsylvania are getting treatment for COVID-19 in hospitals. WellSpan Health reports 258 COVID-19 patients getting treated in the system’s hospitals as of Wednesday. Penn State Health said 110 COVID-19 patients are being cared for in the system’s hospitals as of Wednesday.
State officials and health care providers are also working to get more COVID-19 vaccines into underserved communities. The Hamilton Health Center will host a vaccine clinic Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; the center is located at 100 S. 17th St., Harrisburg.
Since the pandemic began, 1,464,264 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Pennsylvania, according to the health department.
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