By Michael T. Baldwin
Thanksgiving Day dawned with more than 200 confirmed carriers of the COVID-19 coronavirus spread out around Potter County. They represent just a fraction of the actual number who are infected and highly contagious, according to the Pa. Dept. of Health (DOH). The department’s statistical summary includes only those victims who have tested positive. DOH reported that there were 26 more confirmed cases and another COVID-related death among Potter County residents between Monday and Wednesday. Since the pandemic began, there have been 2,220 known cases — more than one in seven county residents — and 54 lives lost.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is forecasting a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID hospitalizations and deaths across the nation, based on surveys showing that more than one-third of Americans will gather for Thanksgiving dinner with individuals who have not been vaccinated against the virus. CDC noted that the U.S. death count will soon pass the 800,000 milestone.
Also on Wednesday, UPMC Cole reported that it is treating a record 17 COVID patients. Four of them are occupying beds in the hospital’s six-patient Intensive Care Unit and one is being sustained by a respirator.