UPMC focused on keeping spread of virus low

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAJ ) – In the UPMC Health System, 28 symptomatic patients have tested positive. Four are currently in the hospital.

With that said, they’re not seeing wide-spread transmission of the virus as of now and they want to keep it that way.

“That doesn’t mean anyone should let down that guard. The virus is readily transmitted and it’s still an important public health threat.”

Officials at UPMC say they’re testing 80 specimens a day and expect that number to double in the next week

“As commercial labs ramp up their own capabilities in this region, which we fully intend to use, having our own test has given us a head start caring for our patients and protecting staff.” Stated Graham Snyder, M.D., M.S.

Testing shortages continue to be a problem around the country. UPMC says they have the capacity to test anyone suspected to have COVID-19.

“Although, we know there are patients here with the virus, so we can’t say it’s not here, it really does reassure us at least right now we’re not seeing wide circulation in lots of patients who lack those risk factors.” Said John Williams, M.D.

These factors include traveling to high-risk regions, age, and health conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, and compromised immune systems.

Even if folks don’t have these factors, doctors say you are still responsible for following health guidelines, like social distancing.

“The reason for the social distancing is not that we’re all gonna drop dead of the virus. The reason is we have a lot of citizens, we all have loved ones who are other that have these high risk conditions and we’re protecting them.” Said Williams.

Doctors also mentioned opening up collection sites around the commonwealth, including one in Altoona, which they said can be up and running as early as next week.

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