The latest wave of new COVID-19 cases in Erie County has led to a spike in admissions at an Erie hospital.
Saint Vincent Hospital reported 25 admissions for COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday, after an average of about 40 per week in mid- to late October.
“We were in a downtrend with our COVID admissions until late last week,” said Christopher Clark, DO, Saint Vincent president. “Unfortunately, it’s no surprise because we’ve been monitoring the county’s active cases and it hasn’t gone down.”
The province has seen a surge in new COVID-19 cases in the past week and a half after a slight three-week drop. It reported 132 new cases on Tuesday, 177 on Monday, 123 on Sunday and 206 on Saturday — the highest single-day total in the province since Jan. 11.
Melissa Lyon, director of the Erie County Department of Health, also provided more information about the 10 COVID-19 deaths reported Friday.
“Eight of those deaths were unvaccinated people, one was partially vaccinated, and the one who was fully vaccinated was living in a long-term care facility,” Lyon said. “They ranged in age from 40 to 94.”
Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 552 residents of the province have died from COVID-19.
Lyon said she remains concerned about the number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the province, especially as people begin to gather indoors due to the colder weather and the upcoming holiday season.
But the province does not plan to impose additional COVID-19 mitigation measures, Lyon said.
“No, I don’t expect to see capacity limits or mask requirements,” Lyon said. “It’s really up to the individual to make wise decisions.”
UPMC Hamot has yet to see a new rise in hospitalizations from COVID-19, with a total of 35 admissions in the week ending Saturday, compared to 54 in the week ending 30 and 41 the week before.
But both Hamot and Saint Vincent are seeing younger COVID-19 patients in their hospitals.
“We’re seeing a greater range in our COVID patients in Hamot, from 20s to 90s,” said Emily Shears, vice president of quality for UPMC in Northwestern Pennsylvania and New York.
Nearly all COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Hamot and Saint Vincent who are younger than 65 have not been vaccinated, Shears and Clark said.
“The vaccinated patients we’re seeing are in the older age groups: a 78-year-old, an 87-year-old,” Shears said. “I think it’s a combination of older people’s bodies not responding very well to the vaccine and now is the time for many of them to get a booster shot.”
Vaccine clinics planned for children aged 5-11
Vaccine providers nationwide are organizing more clinics for children ages 5-11 after being approved to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Saint Vincent hosts community clinics on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon at the AHN Health + Wellness Pavilion West, 4247 W. Ridge Road, and AHN Health + Wellness Pavilion East, 4950 Buffalo Road.
Hamot now accepts children ages 5-11 at clinics at the UPMC Health Plan Operations Center, 380 E. Bayfront Parkway.
The LECOM Center for Health and Aging, 3910 Schaper Ave., vaccinates children ages 5-11 on Tuesdays and Fridays.
People can schedule a COVID-19 vaccination in the following ways:
Vaccine providers prefer people to schedule an appointment, but walk-ins will be accommodated if possible.