Geisinger reports decrease in COVID-19 positivity, fewer than 65 patients hospitalized with virus


DANVILLE, MONTOUR COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — There are now fewer than 65 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Geisinger hospitals, the health network reported Friday.

Geisinger says 63 inpatients with COVID-19 are currently at their hospitals, a level on par with mid-October. The peak for hospitalizations was in January when 350 people were inpatients with COVID-19 at Geisinger hospitals. This promising news also coincides with a significant drop in positivity rates. The network says they have reported an eight percent positivity in February, down from nearly 20 percent in January.

“Seeing more of our operating rooms in use following this winter’s COVID surge is encouraging and is another positive step in the right direction,” Jaewon Ryu, M.D., J.D., Geisinger president and chief executive officer, said. “But while hospitalizations are declining now, we still have a significant number of people sick enough to be in the hospital, and that continues to concern us.”

Geisinger says that the hospitalization data now is similar to just before a second surge of coronavirus cases. Experts say it is “still far too early to let our guard down.”

However, Geisinger is now able to focus staff on non-emergency procedures and is beginning to schedule those previously postponed because of the pandemic.

Vaccine rollout will also help keep hospitalizations down. Geisinger says that out of the more than 150,000 vaccine doses Geisinger administered, about 85 percent have gone to members of the community not employed by Geisinger. From that eight percent, 73 percent of the vaccines provided to community members have gone to those age 60 and older.

In total, more than 46,000 people have received both doses through Geisinger. With weather and supply challenges disrupting more than 40,000 vaccine appointments scheduled over the past several weeks, Geisinger says rescheduling is now complete. Priority was given to those receiving a second dose.

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