The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Adams and nearby counties has soared over the past two weeks, forcing the Wellspan Health system to close clinics and relocate staff to cope with the influx.
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In Adams, there were 510 new COVID cases in the past two weeks, bringing the total number in the county to 2,003. This means that almost two percent of the county has been diagnosed with COVID and that a quarter of the total cases were diagnosed in the past two weeks.
The infection rate per 100,000 people stands at 233.4 in Adams County, lower than the state average of 323.4 and the rates in nearby Franklin (391.4) and York (325.0) counties.
The last two weeks brought eight new deaths to Adams, making a total of 47.
At the Gettysburg hospital, 21 patients are now being treated for COVID-19 and in recent weeks some patients have been transferred out of Gettysburg Hospital to receive care at other hospitals.
“Not all COVID-19 patients require intensive care, but the sheer volume of patients is increasing at a steep rate,” said Wellspan spokesperson Ryan Coyle. “As of this morning, Wellspan is caring for 355 COVID positive patients—that’s 33 percent of all hospitalized patients.”
Coyle said Wellspan has postponed some elective surgeries in Chambersburg, closed the operating rooms in Waynesboro, and made other changes at other hospitals.
In Gettysburg the Wellspan Bariatric Surgery, Digestive Health, Urogynecology and OB/GYN clinics have been closed as has the Wellspan Philhaven mental health services. Video appointments are still available at most of these locations.
Wellspan recently opened in Lancaster County the first of its new alternative care sites for COVID-19 patients who require care beyond their hospital stay.
Wellspan has also opened its “Hospital at Home” service that allows care for patients with low complexity conditions in their own homes through a combination of visiting nurses and physicians, connected remote patient monitoring devices, and video visits.
The “Arches to WellSpan” recuperative care program that provides patients a short-term place to heal with room and meals provided is also being expanded.
“Now is the time to slow the spread of the virus – before it overwhelms our healthcare heroes – and we aren’t able to fulfill our mission to the community,” said Coyle. “Everyone should be wearing a mask, washing hands and practicing social distancing. It is the only way we know to stop the spread, slow the infection rate and ensure the worst of this pandemic is actually behind us,” said Coyle.
Please check the Pennsylvania Department of Health website and our Pennsylvania news stories page for more information.
Charles Stangor is Gettysburg News’s Publisher and Editor in Chief.