Local hospitals see spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations


According to the Pennsylvania Health Department, there are more than 100 COVID patients at hospitals across Erie County and more than 40 patients battling COVID in the Intensive Care Units.

Here is more on the capacity at local hospitals despite the spike in cases.

One representative from Millcreek Community Hospital said that COVID patients continue to be admitted.

He said that the number of active COVID cases here in Erie is concerning.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health website, there are 127 COVID patients at hospitals in Erie.

Forty five of those patients are battling COVID-19 in the Intensive Care Units.

Eleven of those patients are now on ventilators.

One representative from UPMC Hamot said that during the first week of January, 79 patients were admitted to the hospital.

“We’re seeing a smaller percentage of the community needing hospitalization which we think is due to the likely more mild illness with Omicron. However, we do see when there are large increases in the community we do expect hospitalization. So I think we’re going to be very watchful in the next seven to ten days following the weekends high numbers,” said Emily Shears, Epidemiologist at UPMC Hamot.

One representative from Millcreek Community Hospital said that the number of hospitalizations and the number of active COVID cases in Erie County is concerning.

“Over the weekend, Erie County set two records in back to back days for the number of positive cases. The more people that test positive, the more cases are eventually going to feed into the hospital,” said Marcus Babiak, Chief Operating Officer at Millcreek Community Hospital.

Epidemiologist Dr. Howard Nadworny said at Saint Vincent Hospital vaccinated patients recover faster from the virus.

Dr. Nadworny said that many unvaccinated patients are more likely to suffer with complications and need to be put on a ventilator.

“My fear is that in the next several weeks we will see more people hospitalized because we have a lot of unvaccinated never infected patients in Erie County, and that is such a contagious virus that it is likely that once it spreads into that population we’ll see more people admitted,” said Dr. Howard Nadworny, Infectious Disease Physician.

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