The number of Pennsylvanians hospitalized with COVID-19 is slowly declining as vaccinations continue to increase.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health said 1,962 people were hospitalized, including 421 patients in intensive care, on Friday.
The 14-day average number of people hospitalized per day is about 3,900 lower than it was at the peak on Dec. 25, 2020, but is just below what it was at the height of the spring peak on May 3, 2020.
Those numbers have improved over the past few weeks.
Hospitalizations totaled close to 3,000 three weeks ago, and the 14-day average of hospitalized people has been less than the Dec. 25 peak for more than a week.
Most people hospitalized and most who have died from COVID are over 65 years old, according to the department.
Nearly 79,000 vaccinations were administered as of Friday, raising the statewide total to 2,226,004, which includes 1.5 million first doses and 649,020 second doses.
In the county, 16,880 people have received one dose and 12,324 have received second doses, and are considered fully covered.
The health department also reported the county had 24 new confirmed cases and one new death, raising the number of cases since the pandemic began to 8,895 and the number of deaths to 368.
In addition, the department said it is aligning its COVID-19 quarantine guidelines with those of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Under the update, people who received both doses of a two-dose vaccine, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine, do not need to quarantine after an exposure to another person with COVID-19 if they are within three months of receiving their last dose and have been asymptomatic since the most recent exposure.
County residents, age 65 and older who are unable to use the online registration, can get help scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine shot at Butler Memorial Hospital by calling the Center for Community Resources' toll-free hotline 888-550-7468 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
The following numbers on the coronavirus pandemic were compiled from regular news releases from the state Department of Health and the Butler Health System.
COVID-19 statistics from Friday are:
Confirmed cases: 8,895
Probable cases: 4,956
Negative tests: 45,980
New cases: 3,346
Total cases: 926,336
New deaths: 69
Total deaths: 23,937
Allegheny: 59,622 confirmed cases; 357,369 negative; and 1,715 deaths
Armstrong: 3,852 confirmed; 14,667 negative; and 116 deaths
Beaver: 10,260 confirmed; 44,976 negative; and 347 deaths
Clarion: 44,976 confirmed; 7,940 negative; and 83 deaths
Lawrence: 4,546 confirmed; 17,888 negative; and 182 deaths
Mercer: 6,404 confirmed; 26,690 negative; and 239 deaths
Venango: 2,698 confirmed; 10,382 negative; and 83 deaths
Westmoreland: 18,850 confirmed; 86,274 negative; and 670 deaths