Pennsylvania registered 134 new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the state’s pandemic death toll to 30,721.
As of early Wednesday, Pennsylvania hospitals were caring for 2,956 COVID-19 patients, down from 3,025 on Tuesday.
The number hospitalized recently topped 3,000 but hasn’t been rising sharply in recent weeks. The number hospitalized remains at less than half the level of Pennsylvania’s winter surge that took place before vaccine became widely available.
The number hospitalized as of early Wednesday included 678 in intensive care, down from 694 on Tuesday.
Pennsylvania registered 3,584 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, about 300 less than on Tuesday.
The state’s seven-day average of new cases fell to 4,348 as of Sunday, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins, down from about 5,200 in early October.
As of early this week, 70.8% of Pennsylvanians 18 or older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
New infections in the state, which spiked for most of the summer, have for several weeks been hovering at about half the level of the winter peak.
Experts hope ongoing vaccinations combined with people who have immunity from previous exposure are reducing the number of people who are still unprotected, and will cause the latest wave of infections and deaths to peak well before matching the pre-vaccine peak.
According to state data as well as accounts from doctors working in Pennsylvania hospitals, the vast majority of people who are seriously ill or dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
For example, there were 118 adults and four children hospitalized with COVID-19 within Penn State Health’s four hospitals as of Monday.
Of the 76 who weren’t fully vaccinated, 28 were in intensive care and 11 were on ventilators.
Only one fully vaccinated person was in intensive care, and none were on a ventilator.