Coronavirus cases climb at St. Luke’s Monroe Campus

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STROUD TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – There are more than 130 positive cases of COVID-19 with three deaths in Monroe County. Health officials believe the number of positive cases are actually much higher and are expecting an increase.

Officials are saying the Poconos is a hot zone. They are urging residents and visitors to take stay-at-home orders, social distancing and everything else very seriously.

“The more seriously we take this, the more we can flatten the curve,” said Donald Seiple, President, St. Luke’s Monroe Campus.

Seiple is sending a clear message, as his hospital is getting inundated with COVID-19 patients.

“The vast majority of our ER patients that are coming in have COVID-related symptoms and over half of our inpatients are COVID related today,” said Seiple.

Pennsylvania Department of Health is reporting 135 positive cases in Monroe County. With limited tests available, Seiple says that number should be much higher. When non-residents test positive at St. Luke’s, or any hospital, the statistic number gets reported to their hometown. Plus, some ER patients are sent home with coronavirus symptoms.

“Test results are lagging by as much if not more than seven days and patients that don’t require in patient care probably wont get tested,” said Seiple.

He says the hospital’s resources are being stretched to the max like never before, but they are not yet at a point where it’s difficult to manage.

“I’m concerned if we do not comply that we are going to be there,” said Seiple.

He is urging people in Monroe County to stay home, do not travel to New York City and/or New Jersey, no large gatherings, wash your hands frequently, and practice social distancing.

“If there is one thing they can do is listen to this. That helps all of us get through this quicker and on with our lives.”

Seiple says Monroe County is aligning with what is happening in New York and New Jersey as far as cases. The hospital has set up a tent as a precaution because they are expecting more ER visits in the days and weeks to come.

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