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COVID-19 cases in Bradford County trending downward

According to medical professionals at Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, COVID-19 numbers are improving.

SAYRE, Pa. — Medical professionals at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre tell Newswatch 16 that COVID-19 cases in Bradford County have been trending downward since the start of the new year.

"Luckily, the incidents in our county has dropped over the course of the last two or three weeks, so when we track new infections in the region, that is beginning to slow down," said Dr. Michael Scalzone of Guthrie Clinic.

The health care system says COVID-19 hospitalizations have gone down by 33 percent since the holiday season.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there are currently 49 people hospitalized with COVID-19 throughout Bradford County.

"We are also seeing our hospitalizations stabilize or slightly decrease, so that is promising news as well," said Dr. Scalzone.

Dr. Scalzone says the hospital system is averaging 50 positive cases per day in the region. He credits the downward trend to fewer gatherings.

"We did see a spike with the holidays, and now that those gatherings are fewer, we are seeing less of the asymptomatic transmission. We really believe all through the fall that it was the asymptomatic transmission that was causing the surge," said Dr. Scalzone.

The hospital system began vaccinating health care workers weeks ago. Dr. Scalzone says vaccinating those outside the hospital will be a top priority in the coming weeks and months.

"As the vaccine rolls out further, I think that will be another important part. If we can get that next population of people vaccinated, that is just going to be another tool in the toolbox of trying to slow that spread," said Dr. Scalzone.

So far, just over 2,000 people in Bradford County have been vaccinated, and 357 of them have received the second dose.