Bradford County reports decreasing daily numbers of COVID-19 cases (free to read)

There were 14 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bradford County on Saturday and 17 on Friday, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The trend in lowering numbers was consistent this week with five confirmed cases included in Thursday’s update and seven in Wednesday’s update.

In the past week, the county saw an increase in 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

This was the lowest weekly increase the county had seen in months; the data has shown an average weekly increase of at least 100 new confirmed cases.

Throughout the past two weeks, the county saw an increase in 148 new confirmed cases.

Saturday’s update came with 18 more probable cases in the county. Probable cases are either someone who meets the clinical criteria for COVID-19 and/or demonstrates epidemiologic evidence which determines the risk of infection before testing positive, according to the DOH.

There had been 3,589 total confirmed cases of the virus in Bradford County and 74 related deaths. The latest death was reported to the department on Wednesday.

Bradford County Manor has not reported a new case among residents since Dec. 9, 2020 and hasn’t reported a new case among staff members since Jan. 7.

The total of confirmed resident cases remained unchanged at 123 since Sept. 19, 2020. All staff and resident cases are considered recovered.

There were 2,818 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 sent to the DOH through midnight on Saturday, bringing the statewide total to 911,591.

According to the DOH, there were 2,061 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 on Saturday including 441 COVID-19 patients in the ICU.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard showed that 4,017 Bradford County residents had received the first dose of vaccine. The dashboard showed that 2,448 residents had received both doses and were fully vaccinated.

Guthrie announced in a press release on Wednesday that it has resumed all surgeries and relaxed visitor restrictions in light of declining numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in Bradford County.

All non-emergent surgeries were previously postponed in order to help prevent the medical center from reaching bed capacity due to the ongoing pandemic.

Guthrie representatives said the number of COVID-19 inpatients in the hospital is down more than 50 percent since Dec. 2020 and Guthrie’s surgeons are now starting to complete postponed surgeries “by working longer days to accommodate the increased demand.”

Guthrie surgeons will continue these measures until all postponed surgeries, according to the press release, which did note that a number of precautions will remain in place including COVID-19 testing of all patients scheduled for a procedure or surgery, masking and social distancing requirements inside all Guthrie facilities and the use of a modified check-in process for appointments.

“The resumption of surgeries is one more step toward returning to ‘normal’ and Guthrie remains optimistic that with vaccinations and the continued vigilance of COVID-19 protocols like masking and distancing, we can maintain this progress,” Guthrie System Surgical Chair Dr. Anne Rizzo said.

Guthrie also informed the public that visitor restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 will now be relaxed in Guthrie facilities.

According to a Tuesday press release, Guthrie will continue to “closely monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 in the communities it serves and (follow) state and federal guidelines in order to safely care for its patients” but effective Feb, 17 updated hospital policy to allow more lenient visitor regulations “where appropriate.”

All visitors will still be required to wear masks and be screened for temperature and COVID-19 symptoms. Patients may have visitors from 10 a.m. to noon and from 4 to 6 p.m. each day and only one person may visit at a time but visitors may alternate.

Guthrie stated that visitors should leave the facility when not visiting a patient.

Tuesday’s press release stated that visitors will also be permitted in Guthrie facilities in the following situations:

- An OB patient may be accompanied by one support person and a doula.

- A pediatric patient may have one visitor. (can alternate between two parents/guardians)

- Surgical/procedural outpatients may have one visitor during intake and discharge.

- Emergency department patients may have one visitor.

- A patient at end-of-life is permitted up to two visitors.

- Other situations with extenuating circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

- Individuals are asked not to visit Guthrie facilities if they have fevers over 100 degrees, COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. No children under 18 will be permitted.

The Guthrie press release noted that visitation restrictions still remain at the Towanda Personal Care Home, Towanda Skilled Nursing Unit and Cortland Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, though patients at end of life may have up to two visitors.

Connect with Samantha: (570) 265-2151 ext. 1633; slatos@thedailyreview.com; Facebook @ Samantha Latos Daily Review.