Doctors remain focused as COVID-19 cases spike in Pa

Local News

(WTAJ) — Another record-breaking day in the Commonwealth with more than 4,700 new cases of the Coronavirus.

Right now, every county in our viewing area has concerning percent positive rates, and many are on the department of health’s substantial level of county transmission.

There’s no single explanation, but doctors at UPMC said they were expecting to see these numbers because of the change in weather, people not properly masking, and more indoor gatherings, small and large.

“Clearly the increase positive rates are concerning to us all. We hope that this rise will plateau, but we are prepared that it won’t,” Dr. Rachel Sackrowitz, Chief Medical Officer of UPMC ICU Service Center said.

The statewide percent positive rate is 6.9%. Some counties in Central PA are higher or equal to that: Bedford (17.5%), Huntingdon (9.5%), Elk (8.4%), Blair (8.0%), and Jefferson (6.9%).

Chair of Emergency Medicine at UPMC Dr. Don Yealy said the virus enters regions differently, with our region seeing fewer cases in the early months of the pandemic.

“Some sites that had an easier time in the beginning of the pandemic are now having a more difficult time,” Yealy said.

UPMC said the current challenge is to meet the need of a community with a virus that just won’t go away.

“In a sense, when you add more activity, more congregation, some masking opportunities, you have more people available without previous protection from infection. ,” Yealy said.

And it’s up to everyone to be responsible, wear a mask, wash your hand, and social distance.

“There’s no one cause or one pattern emerging beyond human contact and impaired protection. There is no one population that drive infections. Anyone can contract the virus,” Yealy said.

As far as hospital capacity, UPMC can move patients and staff around, so the focus is not only on the local level response, but the entire system planning for the worst case scenarios and adjusting to the situation at hand.

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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