New report gives final pandemic stats for Pa.

COVID-19 may still be with us in mutating forms, but the pandemic is officially over, and a new report took a broad look at the impact throughout Pennsylvania. Much of the data is only at the state level, but there is some information broken down by county, including the overall rate of hospitalizations per 10,000 residents from March 2020 through December 2022.

Luzerne County’s numbers are, well, kind of average.

The state rate for the entire stretch of time was 196.7 COVID hospitalizations per 10,000 residents. Luzerne County’s rate was 195.7 — slightly lower than the state, but higher that for of the seven neighboring counties. Columbia, Wyoming, Lackawanna and Monroe also came in at lower rates, with Lackawanna posting the lowest, at 172.7 per 10,000.

Three adjacent counties had higher rates, one much higher: Sullivan County’s rate was 210.1, Carbon County’s was 230.2, and Schuylkill County was 289.7.

The report, from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, points out that while comparing the rate of hospitalizations is generally fairer than comparing the number, it can be skewed in sparsely populated counties. For example, Schuylkill County’s 289.7 rate per 10,000 is higher than Luzerne County, but the actual number of hospitalizations is much lower: 4,146 in Schuylkill compared to 6,388 in Luzerne.

The contrast is even more striking in Sullivan County, which had a rate of 210.1 per 10,000, but only had 123 hospitalizations. The difference is in the population: 5,868 compared to Luzerne County’s 326,053, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Some other statewide findings in the report for the March 2020-December 2022 stretch:

• The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 11%

• The average hospital stay was 8.3 days.

• Mechanical ventilation was used in 9.1% of patients.

• Total COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue reported by Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems were $8.1 billion. Of that, $5.3 billion was from lost revenue and $1.3 billion from staffing expenses.

The complete report is available on the Council’s website at

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *