Pennsylvania Hospital System in Red Phase Counties Reports ‘Steep Decline’ in Coronavirus Hospitalizations

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 …
JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

The Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is reporting a “steep decline” in patients hospitalized with the Chinese coronavirus — a significant development, as the hospital system spans across several Pennsylvania counties remaining under Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) severe lockdown order.

“Look at that steep decline in the number of COVID-19 patients in LVHN hospitals!” the health network exclaimed on its Facebook page, providing a chart with the predicted trend.

“It’s even better than predicted. Proof that social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask helps keep people safe and protected,” the hospital network added, encouraging people to be “COVID SMART”:

Look at that steep decline in the number of COVID-19 patients in LVHN hospitals! It’s even better than predicted. Proof…

Posted by Lehigh Valley Health Network on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A closer look at the chart shows that they are now under 150 coronavirus-related hospitalizations in LVHN hospitals — a mark they did not expect to hit until the end of the month.

LVHN also noted that it ordered more tests than any others in the region — 27,658 — and has seen 5,781 positive cases as a result.

The hospital system breaks down the LVHN positive cases county by county, almost all of which remain under Wolf’s restrictive lockdown order. Warren County and Carbon County stand as exceptions, as Warren moved to the yellow phase on May 8, and Carbon will move to the yellow phase on Friday.

Penn State Health CEO Steve Massini reported similar results during last week’s virtual roundtable discussion with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), explaining that Penn State Health facilities have experienced a “continued decrease” in coronavirus hospitalizations since its peak last month.

“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 at the time.

“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 continued. “Again, we’ve had a continued decrease.”

He concluded that “Penn State Health’s experience with COVID-19 has been less severe” than initially anticipated.

Nearly 70 percent of coronavirus fatalities in the Keystone State has been linked to nursing homes.

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