The struggles of hospitals in the region continue | News, Sports, Jobs


Hospitals in the region continue to fight COVID-19, according to local officials and statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Department of Health.

“It’s a difficult situation” UPMC regional spokesperson Corinne Weaver wrote in an email. “Health care will not return to baseline for a long time. “

But the UPMC is “Adapt in a thoughtful way”, she wrote.

Hospitals in his area – UPMCs Altoona, Bedford, Somerset and Western Maryland – currently have a total of 153 COVID hospital patients, according to Weaver.

“This fits with the fact that the region’s vaccination rates are among the lowest in Pennsylvania,” she wrote.

Statistics clearly show that unvaccinated people fare the worst:

In UPMC hospitals, 75 percent of COVID-19 hospital patients are unvaccinated, while the remaining 25 percent – the vaccinated – are either immunocompromised or elderly, according to Weaver.

People under 65 and not immunocompromised are 10 times less likely to be hospitalized if they catch COVID, she wrote.

Unvaccinated people who catch it are 10 times more likely to die, according to CDC statistics, she added.

The number of COVID-19 hospital patients in Blair County exceeded 100 over several days this week, according to county emergency management director Mark Taylor.

Thirty-three patients were on ventilators as of Friday, he said.

“All the hospitals are really busy”, Taylor said. “This is the biggest concern.”

Yet there is “encouraging” news: More than 1,000 residents of Blair this week received their first doses of vaccination and 16,000 received boosters, he said.

Retirement homes, for their part, “Seems to be fine” he said. Schools are also “OKAY,” he said.

Always high transmission

The six local counties have high COVID-19 transmission rates this week, as they have for many months, according to the CDC.

Blair County has the second highest number of deaths and new cases among local counties and the highest rate of new cases per 100,000 population – the incidence rate. It also has the highest number of new inpatient admissions and the highest number of intensive care beds in use among local counties.

Cambria County has the most new cases – although it is the only one with fewer this week than last, a drop of less than 1%. Cambria also has the second highest incidence rate among local counties.

Bedford County has the highest test positivity and the lowest vaccination rate, while Clearfield has the largest percentage jump in the number of new cases and the second highest positivity rate. Clearfield also has the second lowest vaccination rate.

Central County has the lowest incidence rate, although it has the second highest percentage in the number of new cases.

Huntingdon County has the lowest positivity rate.

CDC numbers (deaths are from state health department):

ö Blair County: 642 new cases, up 7%; 526 incidence rate; 15% positivity, no change; 14 deaths; 49 percent of residents 5 years of age and over fully immunized; 78 new hospital admissions, up 38%; 24 percent of hospital beds used; 63 percent of

Intensive care beds used.

ö Bedford County: 229 new cases, up 8%; 478 incidence rate; 20% positivity, no change; six deaths; 37 percent of residents 5 years of age and over fully immunized; 21 new hospital admissions, up 50%; 54 percent of hospital beds used.

ö Cambria County: 660 new cases, down less than 1%; 506 incidence rate; 11% positivity, down from 2%; 18 deaths; 53 percent of residents 5 years of age and over fully immunized; 37 new hospital admissions, up 42%; 22 percent of hospital beds used; 49 percent of intensive care beds used.

ö Central County: 637 new cases, up 16%; incidence rate of 392; 13% positivity, no change; six deaths; 56 percent of residents 5 years of age and over fully immunized; 68 new hospital admissions, up 15%; 34 percent of hospital beds used; 61 percent of intensive care beds used.

ö Clearfield County: 388 new cases, up 18%; incidence rate of 489; 16% positivity, up 1%; nine deaths; 48 percent of residents 5 years and older fully immunized; 44 new hospital admissions, up 41%; 31 percent of hospital beds used; 37 percent of intensive care beds used.

ö Huntingdon County: 211 new cases, up 15%; 467 incidence rate; 10% positivity, no change; eight deaths; 49 percent of residents 5 years of age and over fully immunized; 15 new hospital admissions, up 25%; 19 percent of hospital beds used; 44% of intensive care beds used.

Transmission levels are based on incidence rate and test positivity over the past seven days.

Levels are high if the incidence rate is at least 100, or if the positivity rate is at least 10%.

All six local counties qualified for high transmission based on both their incidence rates and positivity.

Mirror staff writer William Kibler is at 814-949-7038.

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