Coronavirus

Cambria and Somerset counties reported a combined 10 new deaths on Wednesday, among a one-day record 220 additional COVID-19 deaths statewide.

The Department of Health’s update showed 8,703 additional positive cases of COVID-19 across Pennsylvania, bringing the state totals to 445,317 cases and 1,762 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Cambria County added 153 cases and seven deaths to bring the county totals to 6,278 cases and 116 deaths. Somerset County added 59 cases and three deaths to reach 2,242 cases and 27 deaths.

Hospitalizations continued to increase, with nearly 300 more COVID-19 patients in Pennsylvania hospitals on Wednesday. Totals are 5,852 inpatients, including 1,191 in intensive care units and 675 using ventilators or breathing machines.

The trend in the 14-day moving average of number of hospitalized patients per day has increased by nearly 4,300 since the end of September.

Across Cambria, Somerset, Bedford and Blair counties, hospitalizations dropped slightly, from 289 inpatients on Tuesday to 285 on Wednesday.

Warnings of potential hospital staffing shortages were posted again Wednesday for the southwestern and central parts of Pennsylvania. The health department’s dashboard shows 35% of hospitals in the Southwest Region and 36% in the Keystone Region expect staffing shortages within a week. Cambria and Somerset counties are in the Southwest Region and Bedford and Blair counties are in the Keystone Region.

Expected staffing shortages by at least one-third of a region’s hospitals is one of three metrics tracked to monitor hospital capacity. The others are a sudden surge in COVID-19 patients and shortage of medical-surgical beds.

If two of the metrics are met in a region, elective procedures must be reduced by 50% for one week in all the region’s hospitals. The local regions don’t meet either of the other measures and no other regions have met any trigger. 

Regional numbers

Bedford County topped 2,000 total cases Wednesday, adding 102 new cases and one death for a total of 2,061 cases and 55 deaths.

Blair County added 136 cases and two deaths to reach 5,423 cases and 94 deaths.

Indiana County added 50 cases and four deaths to reach 3,094 cases and 62 deaths.

Clearfield County added 59 cases and one death to reach 2,420 cases and 23 deaths.

Centre County added 100 cases and four deaths to reach 7,076 cases and 85 deaths.

Westmoreland County added 197 cases and 15 deaths to reach 11,864 cases and 265 deaths.

Nursing homes

There have been 40,983 residents and 7,835 employees of nursing homes and personal-care homes infected by coronavirus, with 7,215 residents’ deaths associated with COVID-19.

This region’s homes continue to feel the effects of the counties’ surging cases.

In the past two weeks, the number of residents in the homes across Cambria, Somerset, Bedford and Blair counties went from 874 to 1,604 and fatalities rose from 32 to 118 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Here are the nursing and personal care homes reporting 10 or more deaths:

Cambria County

• Laurelwood Care Center in Upper Yoder Township, 27.

• Arbutus Park Manor in Richland Township, 17.

• The Atrium in Johnstown, 12.

• Cambria Care Center in Cambria Township, 12.

• HAIDA Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Hastings, 12.

Blair County

• Hollidaysburg Veterans Home, 15.

• Presbyterian Home in Hollidaysburg, 13.

• Altoona Center for Nursing Care, 10.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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