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COVID-19 cases surge, Penn Highlands gives update

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DuBois, PA – Cases of COVID-19, particularly the omicron variant, are continuing to surge nationwide. Penn Highlands Healthcare gave an update about how the hospital system is handling the ongoing pandemic and the influx of patients.

Officials gave statistics on the virus during a telephone press conference on Wednesday. All questions had to be pre-submitted to the Penn Highlands communications team.

Dr. Russell Cameron, the PH Chief Medical Officer, shared that there were 92 patients with COVID across the Penn Highlands Healthcare system, which includes seven hospitals.

As of the statistics on Wednesday, Penn Highlands DuBois had 21 inpatients being treated for COVID. Brookville had two, Clearfield had nine, Elk had six, Huntingdon had 15, Tyron had one, and Mon Valley had 38.

In the past week, Penn Highlands Healthcare had 17 COVID-19-related deaths across the hospital system.

Penn Highlands officials say the number of inpatients is very similar to what they had in the peak of December 2020. Overall, they are seeing more patients in the physician offices and clinics instead of the hospital itself, but the number of admissions to the hospital is similar to this time last year.

Dr. Cameron also pointed out that “the overwhelming majority of patients who are doing poorly are in the ICU and are on ventilators and are dying are not vaccinated.”

According to their statistics, of the 6,100 employees throughout Penn Highlands Healthcare, 199 employees have either tested positive or are waiting on their results.

 

Mark Norman, Chief Operating Officer of Penn Highlands Healthcare, and Dr. Russell Cameron, Chief Medical Director, talk about the recent surge in cases of COVID-19 and the new omicron variant, plus what the hospital is doing to keep up with the influx of patients.