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Pa. to release details on breakthrough COVID cases

The picture of the magnitude of COVID-19 delta variant cases among the fully vaccinated should become clearer after the Pennsylvania Department of Health addresses the issue this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Penn State Health has begun issuing figures about the number of patients in its three medical centers — Hershey, St. Joseph and Holy Spirit — that show 15% of the hospitalized are fully vaccinated.

That is, 14 of the 92 patients in the three facilities.

For Berks County’s St. Joseph, there are a total of 18 patients with eight in critical care. The vaccinated subset is four total with one in critical care.

The rest of the patients are considered either “not fully vaccinated” or “unknown.” There is no category for “no doses of vaccine.”

Reading Hospital has yet to respond to requests for information on the magnitude of breakthrough cases via testing and hospitalizations. Last week, the director of infectious diseases during comments in an online forum suggested 20% of the COVID cases are breakthrough cases.

The Reading Hospital dashboard on Tuesday morning listed 44 patents with four in the ICU and five discharges in the previous 24 hours.

14 deaths in week

The weekly Berks County coroner’s office COVID report on Tuesday listed 14 deaths.

There were two victims in their fifties and the rest were older. The breakdown included six women and eight men.

Six deaths occurred in Reading Hospital and two in Penn State Health St. Joseph. The rest occurred in residences or long-term care facilities.

One of the deceased was from Montgomery County and will likely register for that county in the state’s reporting of deaths.

The number of deaths within Berks this month is 22, the highest toll since 32 in May. The pandemic peak was 200 deaths in January.

The overall pandemic toll reached 1,017.

The coroner reports deaths in real time and the state reports deaths by county of residence when paperwork reaches the state records office either electronically or via the postal service.

The coroner’s office has told the Reading Eagle it does not know the vaccination status of the deceased.

Most of the deaths continue to be of those age 65 and older. The health department breaks down age groups by five-year increments and shows 70-plus-percent rates of full vaccination for the age groups from 65 on up.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s county tracker shows 84.5% fully vaccinated for Berks residents age 65 and older, and 99.9% with one dose.

That latter figure is way out of line with Pennsylvania’s reporting. However, the nursing home vaccination efforts early in 2021 were done under direct federal auspices and would be recorded by the CDC and not the state.

Berks updates

Berks added 116 COVID cases in the Tuesday update of the health department’s dashboard.

The pandemic total reached 52,578 with the delta variant surge in its 10th week. The delta surge date record is 148 on Sept. 3.

The seven- and 14-day averages have nearly leveled off at 119 and 115, respectively.

The 116 cases Tuesday came from 376 test results.

Berks County COVID dashboard

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The daily update is a tally of the previous day’s results, in this case Monday. The averages smooth the uneven test processing.

The dashboard showed no change in the daily number of people hospitalized, 73, in Berks. However, two more people were listed in intensive care for a total of 15.

Due to the different timing of the state report and the hospital updates, the numbers rarely agree.

The state’s report of deaths of Berks residents increased by two to 1,064.

Pa. updates

Pennsylvania overall added 3,732 COVID cases in the Tuesday dashboard update. The high-water marks for the delta surge were earlier this month when two days each topped 4,800.

The hospitalized total increased by 69 to 2,308. Of those, there were 580 in the ICUs, an increase of 29.

Pennsylvania overall reported 83 more deaths, ramping up the pandemic total to 28,651.

There is typically an element of catch-up in the Tuesday dashboard updates, with a slowdown in test processing and processing of death reports over the weekend.

The latest update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the number of new COVID cases dropping significantly across the nation. The seven-day national average is down to 117,622 after peaking at 158,545 on Aug. 28.

Source: Berkshire mont

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