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The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 156 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Bradford County between Oct. 1 and Oct. 7 in its Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard update Friday. This represented 34 additional confirmed cases when compared to the previous seven-day period.

Average daily hospitalizations from the virus were slightly lower between the two time periods — 44.9 from 45.1 — while average daily patients on ventilators decreased from 9.1. to 5.4 and the percentage of emergency room visits went from 2.6% to 2.1%.

As of Friday, Bradford County had 43 COVID-19 patients hospitalized with 11 in the intensive care unit and eight on ventilators, according to the department.

Statewide, the dashboard reflected that new COVID-19 cases had gone from 26,324 to 27,592 between the two time periods while average daily hospitalizations related to the virus increased from 2,761 to 2,878.9 and those requiring ventilators went from 362.7 to 383. The percentage of COVID-related emergency room visits decreased slightly from 1.6% to 1.5%.

The Department of Health continued to urge those eligible 12 and older to become vaccinated Friday as it shared an updated report on COVID-19 post-vaccination events.

In it, officials said 74% of Pennsylvania’s 4,989 COVID-19-related hospitalizations were those who were unvaccinated. Also, 74% of the 135,098 who tested positive in the past 30 days were unvaccinated.

“From a clinical perspective, we expect to see the number of breakthrough cases go up as more people get vaccinated,” said Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson. “It is like what we saw with seat belt use years ago. As the number of people wearing seatbelts increased, the number of car accidents involving people wearing seatbelts went up. However, the overall fatality rate from car accidents dropped. Your chances of dying in a car accident drop dramatically if you wear a seatbelt. So too, your chances of dying from COVID-19 drop substantially if you are fully vaccinated.”

The DOH noted that post-vaccination death data was not currently available for the past 30 days due to a 60-day lag in the reporting and verification process.

“Reviewing this data over time helps inform our understanding of factors such as potential waning immunity,” Johnson continued. “This data is consistent with national trends and similar to data reviewed by the FDA and CDC resulting in a recommendation for a booster dose for vulnerable populations several months following the completion of the primary vaccination series.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37.2% of Bradford County residents are fully vaccinated (43.5% of those 12 and older who are eligible for the vaccine), while 67.6% of Pennsylvania’s eligible population are fully vaccinated.

Connect with Matt: (570) 265-2151 ext. 1628; mhicks@thedailyreview.com; Facebook @Matt Hicks Daily Review.

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