The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 12,325 additional cases of the coronavirus this week. The seven-day moving average of new reported cases was 1,761 cases per day, essentially unchanged from a week ago and down 35.1% over the past 30 days.

To date, 3.3 million infections have been reported across the state.

The omicron BA.5 variant remains the most common in the multistate health region that covers Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. BA.5 previously accounted for 88% of all infections in the region, but is responsible for less than half of the infections reported this week, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Three new omicron subvariants are swelling, led by BQ.1.1, which now accounts for 16.6% of all infections. All of the new variants are believed to respond to the new bivalent vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, but they are lesser-known additions to the evolving pandemic landscape.

The overall change in the Lehigh Valley region is small, with Berks County remaining at the lowest level on the CDC’s COVID Community Level tool, and the remaining seven counties in The Morning Call’s coverage area remaining at the middle level.

People living in areas with moderate to low levels are not advised to take special precautions against contracting or transmitting the virus unless they are at increased risk of serious illness.

Crawford County, on the Ohio border, was the only Pennsylvania county in the highest tier last week. It dropped to medium, but four counties clustered on the New York state border moved to high: Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga. All four have high transmission rates, and three of the four have hospitalizations above 20 per 100,000 residents. Tioga’s hospitalization rate is 15 per 100,000, but the positive test rate is about 20%.

Flying results

In the week ending October 21, 89 additional deaths were reported, compared with 123 in the previous seven days and 114 two weeks ago. Since March 2020, Pennsylvania has recorded 47,705 deaths.


The latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows:

In Pennsylvania, 9.18 million people are fully vaccinated, which is 71.7% of the population. Another 2.17 million people need the next vaccination. A total of 25.71 million shots were received by 11.35 million people, or 88.7% of the state’s population.

These statewide numbers include 494,004 Lehigh Valley residents who are fully vaccinated, representing 73.2% of the local population. A total of 577,425 local residents suffered 1,279,693 hand injuries, representing 85.6% of the valley’s population.

According to the CDC, Pennsylvania residents receive an average of 4,683 vaccinations each day. Of them, 586 were the first doses. The total number of vaccinations per day increased by 44% compared to the previous week. The number of first doses taken per day increased by 41% compared to the previous week.

Data from the state Department of Health shows that more than 20,000 bivalent vaccines are administered to state residents each day, far exceeding the number of primary or follow-up vaccinations.


According to the latest report, 1,244 people have been hospitalized, 156 are in intensive care, and 63 are on ventilators. Hospitalizations statewide dropped 14.9% in the past week and 11.2% in the past 30 days.

Hospitals in the Lehigh Valley have reported 49 patients with COVID-19, including 12 in intensive care and six on ventilators. Local hospitalizations are down 18% over the past week and 11.3% over the past 30 days.

Lehigh Valley

Affairs: 657 additional cases reported, with 335 in Lehigh County, 322 in Northampton County. This brings the total to 197,490.

Flying results: Three new deaths in Lehigh County. This brings the total to 2,478 (1,307 in Lehigh and 1,171 in Northampton).