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COVID-19 receding in Lycoming County but pandemic not over

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, Lycoming County has seen its 500th death from the illness.

Despite the morbid milestone, however, rates of COVID-19 cases at local Geisinger and UPMC hospitals are dwindling.

“At UPMC, we continue to see an encouraging decline in the number of cases in the communities we serve and patients in our hospitals needing care for COVID-19,” said Tyler Wagner, a UPMC Williamsport spokesman.

Hospitalizations at UPMC in the region have decreased dramatically, he said.

As of Friday, hospitals in the region were caring for 16 COVID-19 positive patients, compared to almost 100 just two months ago.

“While everyone wants COVID to go away, we need to remain mindful that variants like omicron will continue to keep circulating in our communities, and vaccines remain one of our best tools against the spread of the virus,” Wagner said.

The 500th COVID death in Lycoming County was reported on the Novel Coronavirus website.

Most recently, Lycoming County listed 28,212 cases and remains at a “substantial transmission” level, with a positivity rate of 6.7%. The weekly rate of new confirmed cases was 105.9 new cases per 100,000 people, according to the state Department of Health.

The department defines substantial transmission as a weekly rate of new confirmed cases per 100,000 people above 100 or a weekly COVID-19 test positivity rate above 10%.

Geisinger Medical Center facilities and UPMC Williamsport, on request, provided the latest patient and treatment data on Monday.

Geisinger COVID-19 data as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday indicated that, while both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients took up hospital beds, those who are unvaccinated remain the majority.

Geisinger lists 112 patients in the hospital, 88 of whom — or about 79% — are not fully vaccinated while the other 24 are.

Geisinger lists 24 people in Intensive Care Units, 17 of whom are not fully vaccinated and seven who are.

There are 14 patients on ventilators and, of those, 11 are not fully vaccinated while three are.

For those vaccinated less than six months ago, immunity is higher, according to the hospital marketing department.

Geisinger data was gathered systemwide and includes:

Geisinger Danville, Muncy Medical and Community Medicine (Scranton) centers, South Wilkes Barre Hospital; Wyoming Valley Hospital; Bloomsburg Hospital; and the Shamokin Area Community, Jersey Shore and Lewistown hospitals.

Meanwhile, UPMC Williamsport and Divine Providence Campus, as well as UPMC Wellsboro, Lock Haven and Muncy figures on cases were provided.

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