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Pennsylvania COVID cases soar, breaking delta surge record by more than 1,000

Pennsylvania blew away its COVID-19 delta-variant surge case record by more than a thousand in the Thursday update of the state Department of Health dashboard.

The state saw 3,451 new cases, and the pandemic total is knocking on the door of 1.26 million. The prior record for the surge was 2,332 reported Wednesday.

That daily number beats any day in the spring 2020 initial outbreak, but is still about a fourth of the top days of the winter surge, and less than the top days of the spring minisurge.

Berks had 82 new cases Thursday, third most of the delta surge. The pandemic total reached 49,883 and is knocking on the 50,000-milestone door.

Berks had 2.3% of the new cases. The county at 429,000 residents has 3.3% of the state population.

The seven- and 14-day Berks case averages continued to increase, jumping several points each to 72 and 62, respectively.

The county view data tracker of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has Berks in high community spread, with a seven-day case average of 108.3 per 100,000 residents.

The seven-day period for that tracker ends Tuesday, so the 92- and 82-case days since then are not yet factored in. The tracker is updated daily at 8 p.m.

The high community spread category, the top level designation, kicks in at 100 cases per 100,000 population over the prior seven days.

Nearly all of eastern, northeastern and south central Pennsylvania are in high community spread. Some counties’ rates are bouncing above and below the 100 mark.

Most of the nation is in high community spread with very little of the country below “substantial.”

Each new case is a new person testing positive. The averages smooth the uneven reporting of test results.

The state dashboard update reflects the numbers at the end of the prior day, in this case Wednesday.

Hospitalizations and deaths

Berks had 27 hospitalized COVID patients, according to the Thursday update, with seven in intensive care. The number hospitalized has slid this week.

The Reading Hospital dashboard update Thursday morning showed 16 patients, with four in intensive care and two discharges in the preceding 24 hours, and no deaths.

Reading has the bulk of the COVID hospitalizations.

There were no new deaths of Berks residents reported in the state update, and that total remained at 1,045, where it has been since July 23.

Pennsylvania overall continued its upward march in COVID hospitalizations with another 32 for a total of 1,307 that now includes 338 in intensive care.

The intensive care column was an increase of six.

The state added 22 COVID deaths for a pandemic total of 28,040.


Vaccinations continued a familiar trend: up.

The number of completed inoculations has been increasing, signifying the earliest Berks and other Pennsylvania residents seeking vaccinations in the delta surge are getting second doses.

For Berks, 455 more were completed, according to the dashboard, with 30 more partials. The totals of the columns were 191,462 and 23,261, respectively.

Across the state, completed inoculations increased by about 11,000 and partials by 2,543. That indicates 13,000 or more residents started the process since a very high percentage of shots are of the two-dose vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna.

There have been reports nationally of more than 1 million people who have received third shots, many by some means of deception.

“We have no evidence that people have provided false information to vaccine providers in order to receive an unauthorized third shot,” said Mark O’Neill, health department COVID-19 press secretary.

The preparation continues for third shots for the immunocompromised.

Health department spokeswoman Maggi Barton emailed this comment:

“The Department of Health is already working with vaccine providers to effectively and efficiently administer third shots of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised individuals to further protect Pennsylvanians. The CDC has indicated that about 2.7% of the population falls under the immunocompromised category. If that is true in Pennsylvania, that would be approximately 250,000-300,000 doses.”

A more full accounting of the vaccinations effort is available at the CDC county tracker site. That site also accounts for vaccinations done at VA facilities, nursing homes and other efforts under direct federal supervision.

Those numbers Thursday showed 205,893 Berks residents age 12 and older fully vaccinated, including 195,700 age 18 and older, which is 59.7% of that demographic.

Source: Berkshire mont

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