Medical experts weigh in as COVID-19 hospitalizations decrease

Local News

Despite the large increase in deaths, local hospitals are saying that COVID-19 hospitalizations and ventilator usage is decreasing.

There were 12 deaths in the last 24 hours from COVID-19. UPMC Hamot currently has three people on ventilators and AHN Saint Vincent currently has four patients on ventilators.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are decreasing slightly in Erie County.

“It’s been very encouraging. For almost four weeks in a row, there’s been a decrease in COVID-19 patients for a seven-day period.” said Emily Shears.

A week ago, there was more than 101 total hospitalizations and 12 people are on ventilators.

As of Friday morning, there are 71 hospitalizations and 7 people on ventilators.

Shears believes UPMC Hamot is reaching its plateau with patients hospitalized from COVID-19.

More than 80 patients were hospitalized in mid-December. UPMC Hamot is now caring for 35 patients per day. Health officials believe that a decrease in hospitalizations could be related to more people staying at home in January.

“I think the state’s mandate likely helped with people staying at home during the holiday gatherings that they normally would have had. I think we’re seeing some positive effects.” Shears said.

AHN Saint Vincent is also seeing a decrease in its hospitalizations for mid-January

Dr. Chris Clark, President of AHN Saint Vincent, believes that more people are beginning to adhere to the guidance and state’s restrictions.

“Our average census has actually gone down to 42 patients per day. It was 54 back in December.” Clark said.

AHN’s COVID-19 positivity rate is down slightly. 36% of patients are testing positive, whereas in December, 42% of patients were positive.

Both hospitals are still vaccinating critical front line workers. The next step is to move in phase 1B.

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