The Lead

Pa. Health Dept.: Nearly 4,500 new COVID-19 cases; 2,900 hospitalized

By: - October 22, 2021 1:17 pm

COVID-19 vaccine is stored at -80 degrees celsius in the pharmacy at Roseland Community Hospital on December 18, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The hospital began distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to its workers yesterday. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 4,496 new cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth on Friday, down from Thursday’s tally of 4,998 new cases, bringing the the statewide total to  1.53 million cases since the start of the pandemic.

As of midday Friday, 2,900 individuals were hospitalized with the virus. Of that number, 668 patients were in the intensive care unit and 387 patients were using a ventilator, according to data posted to the agency’s pandemic tracking website.

The department also confirmed 88 new deaths attributed to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths attributed to the virus to 30,903 since the start of the pandemic.

As of Friday, the statewide positivity rate remained at 9.7 percent, and 71.1 percent of Pennsylvanians 18 or older were fully vaccinated, according to the department.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

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