COVID-19 hospitalizations are recovering in Pa. as the state also records 150 new deaths – Community News
Covid-19

COVID-19 hospitalizations are recovering in Pa. as the state also records 150 new deaths

Pennsylvania hospitals took care of 3,016 COVID-19 patients early Wednesday — another troubling sign that the virus is gaining rather than fading.

The number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 is again near the peak reached in late October, which had subsequently fallen by several hundred.

New infections also appear to be headed in the wrong direction, as the state reported 6,024 new or likely infections on Wednesday.

The seven-day average of new cases in Pennsylvania was 4,778 Tuesday, after falling to less than 4,000 in late October, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins.

The 150 new deaths raise Pennsylvania’s pandemic toll to 32,633.

Four experts interviewed by PennLive last week were optimistic that the worst of COVID-19, in terms of deaths and the threat of COVID-19 patients overloading healthcare systems, could be over in a few months.

Still, they were also concerned, even as the wave that started around July 4 appeared to be leveling off, that COVID-19 will recover if cold weather keeps Pennsylvanians indoors and the holidays bring them together. They pointed out that a COVID-19 spike during the regular flu season could put a lot of pressure on hospitals, which are also faced with labor shortages.

As it stands, the current number of hospital admissions is only about half the level of Pennsylvania’s worst wave, which happened last winter before many people were vaccinated against COVID-19. The number of new cases is also less than half the previous record.

Much of the experts’ optimism stemmed from the fact that Pennsylvania is one of the most successful states for vaccinations, with more than 73% of adult residents fully vaccinated. In addition, many unvaccinated people have contracted the virus, giving them some immunity, although probably not as good as with vaccination.

At Penn State Health’s four hospitals, 89 adults and one child were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday. Of those, at least 63 of the adults and child were less than fully vaccinated, including 21 in the intensive care unit and 15 who needed ventilators, according to the Penn State Health website. Of the 16 fully vaccinated patients, four were in intensive care and four on a ventilator. Ten of the hospitalized patients had unknown vaccination status.

Of the 3,016 COVID-19 patients cared for at Pennsylvania hospitals, 657 are in intensive care and 359 are on ventilators. According to health department data, there were still 1,955 regular beds, 556 adult intensive care beds and 34 pediatric intensive care beds.