Going into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Mount Nittany Medical Center is not experiencing any relief from the effects of the pandemic, still having a high number of COVID inpatients. Today, we are caring for 35 COVID positive inpatients at Mount Nittany Medical Center, ranging in age from 42 to 95. Our average daily census of COVID positive inpatients for November is 32 and the total number of cases for November is 122. This compares to an average of 19 patients per day from the same timeframe in November 2020, or a 60% increase.
“Our health system and the region are feeling the effects of this sustained high number of COVID inpatients and the continued difficulty discharging patients to acute and long-term care facilities,” said Upendra Thaker, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Mount Nittany Medical Center. “This is not only affecting Mount Nittany Medical Center, but also health systems across the region.”
Dr. Thaker attributes the strain to needing to care for significant numbers of patients who would not be in the hospital under normal, pre-pandemic circumstances, patients who also are requiring higher levels of care. The situation is creating longer wait times in the emergency department compared to normal and requiring the medical center to postpone some surgeries that require inpatient stays.
“The combination of COVID patients and longer hospital stays means we have fewer available beds to care for other patients,” Dr. Thaker said. He strongly encourages the community to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and take precautionary measures to prevent and reduce transmission of the disease, especially as we enter the peak time period for other respiratory illnesses, like the flu.
“Mount Nittany Medical Center is committed to doing everything we can to serve every patient every day,” says Thaker. “We are here for the community, and we are asking for your help.”
On behalf of the physicians, nurses and healthcare workers on the front lines, who have been fighting the pandemic for more than a year and half now, he urges community members to do everything they can to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19, even as they gather with loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday:
- get vaccinated
- social distance
- avoid large gatherings
- wear a mask
- wash your hands frequently.
Please visit our website to register for a Pfizer BioNTech vaccine or booster dose. Importantly, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or believe you have been exposed to someone who is COVID positive, then please isolate yourself from others and seek testing. Visit our patient information page to learn more.