Penn State Health CEO: Hospitals Experiencing ‘Continued Decrease’ in Coronavirus Patients

This picture taken on March 16, 2020 during a press presentation of the hospitalisation service for future patients with coronavirus at Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, shows empty hospital beds in a ward. - As of March 16, Israel has 255 confirmed cases …
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Penn State Health facilities have experienced a “continued decrease” in coronavirus hospitalizations since its peak in mid-April, Penn State Health CEO Steve Massini revealed during Thursday’s virtual roundtable discussion with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA).

Penn State Health facilities have been able to “effectively project our needs and manage our inventory” during the era of the coronavirus, Massini told the lawmakers Thursday, explaining that the hospital system prepared for a surge of patients but  the surge never came.

“As of this morning, we have successfully treated and released more than 175 confirmed COVID-19 patients from our hospitals in Hershey and Reading,” Massini told the lawmakers Thursday, noting that “approximately 23 patients still occupy beds in our facilities.”

“The interesting point to make is, at the level of 23 patients in our hospital today, that is a 50 percent decrease from our high point of 51 patients in mid-April,” he explained. “Again, we’ve had a continued decrease.”

“Penn State Health’s experience with COVID-19 has been less severe than we anticipated,” he added, noting that the surge “did not arrive to central Pennsylvania.”

According Massini, Penn State Health has tested over 13,000 people. The majority of the tests — 9,000 — have come back negative, and 2,200 have been positive. Of those, only a “fraction” required in-patient care:

Massini’s update corresponds with the report given by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Shapiro, who told Toomey during a roundtable discussion last week that the hospital system never experienced a surge of coronavirus patients. During the peak, coronavirus patients occupied just two percent of their 5,500 hospital beds and 48 of their 750 available ventilators, as Breitbart News detailed.

Shapiro also said admissions have been decreasing “with very few patients now coming from the community — almost all now being from nursing homes.”

“We are, as you mentioned, seeing leveling off of new cases across the commonwealth and the beginning of a decline,” Rep. Smucker said during Thursday’s roundtable discussion. “We are at the point where we can turn our minds to reopening our economy safely and responsibly.”

“It’s been my view, for some time now, that Pennsylvania is ready to reopen,” Toomey stated. “Our governor, of course, has taken some modest steps.”

“I think by our rough estimates, more than half of Pennsylvania is still effectively in a lockdown, and I think it is time we move this along,” he added.

The discussion comes as several Pennsylvania counties battle Gov. Tom Wolf (D) over his stringent lockdown orders, only allowing roughly half the state to reopen and leaving over two dozen counties in the dark.

“Our business, currently, is at 95 percent loss in wholesale revenue,” Reverend Georgette Morgan-Thomas, who participated in Thursday’s virtual roundtable discussion, said.

“Because we are a small hat factory, we actually make all of our hats here in Pennsylvania on site in our factory,” Morgan-Thomas added, noting that they have six full-time employees and three part-time employees, and four contract employees.

Wolf this week threatened businesses that fail to comply with his orders, warning that they risk losing their health department certificates, liquor licenses, and certificates of occupancy.


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