Later today, the Berks County coroner’s office will issue its count of deaths within the county in the past week. The coroner’s office has told the Reading Eagle it does not know the vaccination status of the deceased. The Reading Hospital dashboard on Tuesday morning listed 44 patents with four in the ICU and five discharges in the previous 24 hours. Most of the deaths continue to be of those age 65 and older. The health department breaks down age groups by five-year increments and shows 70-plus-percent rates of full vaccination for the age groups from 65 on up.
The rest of the patients are considered either “not fully vaccinated” or “unknown.” There is no category for “no doses of vaccine.” For Berks County’s St. Joseph, there are a total of 18 patients with eight in critical care. The vaccinated subset is four total with one in critical care.
Reading Hospital has yet to respond to requests for information on the magnitude of breakthrough cases via testing and hospitalizations. Last week, the director of infectious diseases during comments in an online forum suggested 20% of the COVID cases are breakthrough cases. That is, 14 of the 92 patients in the three facilities.
Pennsylvania has yet to issue its stats today. The surge has not yet shown signs of waning in Berks and the state. The latest update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the number of new COVID cases dropping significantly. The seven-day national average is down to 117,622 after peaking at 158,545 on Aug. 28.
That latter figure is way out of line with Pennsylvania’s reporting. However, the nursing home vaccination efforts early in 2021 were done under direct federal auspices and would be recorded by the CDC and not the state. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s county tracker shows 84.5% fully vaccinated for Berks residents age 65 and older, and 99.9% with one dose.
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