HARRISBURG — More than 17,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to health care workers at Pennsylvania hospitals, the state health secretary said Monday, as hospitals remain stressed by coronavirus patient loads and a second vaccine from Moderna is expected to arrive this week.
Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said 87 hospitals have thus far received doses of the first vaccine, from Pfizer, with another 30,000 doses due to arrive this week. In addition, hospitals in the state are slated to start receiving 198,000 doses of the newly approved Moderna vaccine this week, Levine said.
As part of a federal partnership, CVS and Walgreens will start on-site vaccination services next week for residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities across the state, Levine said. Those facilities will receive the Pfizer vaccine, she said.
In the meantime, Levine said even people who are receiving the vaccine should continue to observe efforts to stem the spread of the virus, including wearing a mask and adhering to social-distancing protocols.
Gov. Tom Wolf imposed a series of shutdowns through Jan. 4, including youth sports and other extracurricular activities, gyms, theaters and casinos, and indoor dining at restaurants amid rising infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths. The shutdown orders have drawn lawsuits, some local officials saying they won’t enforce the orders, and a growing list of businesses vowing to defy the orders and stay open.
The daily load of positive cases has dropped since Wolf imposed the restrictions on Dec. 12.
Hospitalizations in PA
As of Monday, there are 6,090 COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals in Pennsylvania, with 1,217 in intensive care units.
Both figures are lower than those from six days ago, when the state had 6,295 COVID-19 admissions (3.3% decrease) and 1,264 undergoing intensive care treatment (3.7% decrease). COVID-19 patients occupy 33.8% of the state’s 3,601 ICU beds.
There are 738 COVID-19 patients on ventilators, a 4.7% increase from six days ago, when there were 705 ventilators in use by coronavirus patients.
Mercer County ZIP codes
Almost 5% of Hermitage residents have contracted COVID-19 since March 22, when the pandemic arrived in Mercer County.
The city, which has Mercer County’s largest population, has had 820 cases, the county’s most. With a population of 16,959, Hermitage has a case rate of 48.35 per 1,000, or 4.835%.
The Grove City Zip code, which includes Liberty and Pine townships, with 616 (38.2 cases per 1,000 residents), has the second-most cases. Farrell, with 211 cases, has the second-highest rate, 42.7 per 1,000 residents.
Case numbers and rates for the county’s most populous Zip codes:
• Mercer — 508 cases, 39.3 rate
• Sharpsville — 269 cases, 36.2 rate
• Sharon — 474 cases, 33.76 rate
• Greenville — 609 cases, 33.5 rate
• West Middlesex — 144 cases, 30.5 rate
• Sandy Lake — 79 cases, 30 rate
• Jamestown — 92 cases, 23.6 rate
New Wilmington — 203 cases, 28.8 rate