The Lead

Pa. Health Dept.: While vaccinations rise, more than 5,700 new cases of COVID-19

By: - October 15, 2021 12:17 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 5,725 new cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth on Friday, up from Thursday’s tally of 5,253 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 1.5 million since the start of the pandemic.

At midday Friday, there were 2,946 people hospitalized with COVID-19, down slightly from Thursday’s total of 2,978 people.

Of that number, 687 people were in hospital intensive care units, up from Thursday’s tally of 664 patients. A total of 384 people were using ventilators on Friday, nearly unchanged from Thursday’s tally of 388 people, according to data posted to the state’s pandemic tracking website.

The department confirmed 82 new deaths attributed to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 to 30,418 since the start of the pandemic.

As of midday Friday, Pennsylvania’s positivity rate was 9.6 percent, and 70.1 percent of Pennsylvanians 18 or older were fully vaccinated, the Health Department said in a statement.

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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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