The holiday weekend slowdown in COVID-19 test processing hasn’t slowed COVID cases in Berks, with the county setting another delta variant surge record in the Monday update of the Pennsylvania Department of Health dashboard .
Berks had 152 more cases, nipping the 150 recorded Saturday for the delta surge, which has started its ninth week.
On Sunday, there were 88 more cases in the dashboard update. The pandemic total of cases Monday reached 51,693.
Pennsylvania counts only the first-time positives of new people.
The two-day total of 240 cases was through 692 test results.
However, the rest of those test results were likely not all negatives. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitors all positives, even repeats, and the agency’s stats have shown there are also a few dozen of those, typically.
It’s unclear if those are residents still testing positive after the initial test or if some people have contracted the illness a second time or more.
The department of health reports that the total number of COVID tests administered to Berks residents in the pandemic, which is nearly 18 months old, is 201,321.
There is no way of knowing how many people that involved with so much repeat testing of nursing home workers and residents, repeat testing of first responders and more.
Berks is in the high community spread metric, the highest level, and the latest case numbers show no sign of that easing.
The state and the CDC do not provide numbers of breakthrough cases. The health department has said it is working to determine what percentage of the cases are people who were vaccinated.
The latest case numbers have put a charge into the seven- and 14-day case averages in Berks, with the former up to 126 and the latter rising to 109. The averages smooth the uneven reporting of test results.
Each new case is a new person testing positive. The figures are compiled at the end of the previous day, in this case Sunday.
The seven- and 14-day case averages on Sept. 7, 2020 were 37 and 33, respectively, as the college campus outbreaks continued, less than a third of the current averages.
In COVID hospitalizations, the Monday update showed Berks hospitals had 46 patients with 10 in intensive care. The total hospitalized has dipped from the peak of 50 on Saturday.
Over two days, three more deaths of Berks residents were reported and that pandemic total reached 1,056. The county coroner’s office is expected to issue its weekly update on Tuesday.
The CDC has taken the holiday weekend off and the next report will be available Tuesday.
The slowdown in weekend processing was evident statewide, at least, with Pennsylvania picking up 2,503 COVID cases Monday following 3,176 on Sunday in the dashboard updates.
In the Monday update, Berks had 6.1% of the state’s cases. The county has 3.3% of the state population of 13 million.
The top days statewide were weekdays last week at just over 4,800 new cases each day. There is likely to be an element of catch-up in the Wednesday report after the holiday weekend.
The total of the COVID hospitalized continued to increase Monday, up to a delta-tops 1,963 after adding 36 over two days.
Of those, 471 were in intensive care. That was down from the delta peak recorded Sunday of 514.
The number hospitalized has increased more than eightfold since bottoming out at 243 on July 9.
Vaccinations surged with the fear factor of the delta variant but a slowdown of inoculations that started last week was more acute in the Monday dashboard update, though some of it might be attributable to a slowdown in holiday weekend reporting.
Overall Berks had a two-day total of 540 completed vaccinations for a pandemic total of 197,990, and there were 107 fewer in the partials column, which dipped to 23,129.
Across the state, there were about 13,000 more completed inoculations and 1,086 fewer in the partials column. Those pandemic totals were nearly 6.02 million and 730,933, respectively.
A very high percentage of vaccinations are the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna products. In those cases, the partial migrates to completed upon the second dose.
The Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine is considered completed. Figures show that only 8% of completed vaccinations in the U.S. are of the J&J shot.
COVID in Berks
New cases: 240 (2 days)
Pandemic total: 51,693
14-day average: 109
Deaths: state, 1,056; coroner, 992
Fully vaccinated: 197,990 (Pa. accounting)
Source: Berkshire mont