Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (February 26)

Currently, Mount Nittany Medical Center has 10 COVID positive inpatients between the ages 50 to 84.

 

So far this month, there have been a total of 84 COVID positive inpatients admitted to the Medical Center, with an average of 18 COVID positive inpatients per day, putting us at our lowest census numbers since mid-November. By comparison, in January, there were a total of 211 COVID admissions, with an average daily census of 41 COVID positive inpatients. 

 

While hospitalizations are down, it cannot be stressed enough that we must all continue to consistently follow COVID safety protocols. This includes masking, avoiding large gatherings, social distancing and frequent hand washing. 

 

COVID-19 vaccines

To date, we’re pleased to have given more than 14,700 vaccines, with over 7,000 future vaccines scheduled. 

 

As part of a hybrid scheduling model, individuals can visit our COVID-19 webpage at mountnittany.org/coronavirus, click on the link: “Join the waitlist,” and complete the form at their earliest convenience. When it’s their turn for the COVID-19 vaccine, Mount Nittany Health will contact them with their appointment date and time.

 

We also continue to place COVID-19 vaccine scheduling calls to at-risk, vulnerable community members in our care at Mount Nittany Health. 

 

Mount Nittany Health remains committed to continuing to vaccinate our community as long as it takes, and appreciate the community’s patience and understanding that this process will take time. Amid a national vaccine shortage, clinics will be scheduled as we confirm vaccine supply to ensure that no scheduled patient is left without a vaccine. 

 

For help with the waitlist system and for answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the COVID-19 vaccine information page at mountnittany.org/coronavirus.

 

Visitation policy update

Beginning Monday, March 1, Mount Nittany Health will allow one visitor per patient for inpatients at Mount Nittany Medical Center during visiting hours, 2:00 – 6:00 pm daily. Additionally, a support person/caregiver may accompany patients of our emergency department at Mount Nittany Medical Center, Mount Nittany Physician Group, Mount Nittany Health Surgical Center, CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP, and outpatient Medical Center locations. The women & children’s services department at the Medical Center will continue its practice of permitting one support person to accompany the patient. For outpatient and surgical procedures, caregivers will be asked to wait in their vehicle but may be with the patient until the start of the procedure and assist with discharge instructions. Please be aware, there may be other select circumstances where caregivers are asked to wait in their vehicles as well.

 

Masking will be required for all visitors and caregivers, as well as the patients they are visiting or accompanying, during the time of the visit.

 

Visitors will be provided a colored wristband upon checking in at the front desk of the emergency department or medical center, where a screening will be performed by a member of our staff.

   

Persons under investigation for COVID-19 and positive COVID-19 patients will not be permitted to have visitors. We recognize that interacting with friends and family can be helpful to the healing process; therefore, we are strongly encouraging using alternative means of support like phone calls or video chats on cellphones or other mobile devices.

 

We are sensitive to the separation this restriction creates for our patients and families, but we strongly believe continuing to limit the number of people in our facilities is essential to keeping our patients and staff safe.

 

Patients with questions regarding visitation at the Medical Center should call 814.231.7000. For Mount Nittany Physician Group, patients are asked to call their practice or outpatient office.

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (February 19)

There are currently 14 COVID positive inpatients at Mount Nittany Medical Center, ages 19 to 79.

 

So far this month, there have been a total of 66 COVID positive inpatients admitted to the Medical Center, with an average of 19 COVID positive inpatients per day, putting us at our lowest census numbers since mid-November. By comparison, in January, there were a total of 211 COVID admissions, with an average daily census of 41 COVID positive inpatients.

 

While hospitalizations are down, it cannot be stressed enough that we must all continue to consistently follow COVID safety protocols. This includes masking, avoiding large gatherings, social distancing and frequent hand washing.

 

We continue to lead the community in COVID vaccination efforts and are pleased to say that to date, we’ve administered more than 11,000 doses of the vaccine, with over 7,000 future vaccine appointments scheduled. Just this week, we’ve provided more than 1,300 vaccines to community members in the Department of Health’s Category 1A eligibility group, and will vaccinate over 800 additional community members today.

 

Our vaccination clinic appointments are not affected by Wednesday’s announcement from the DOH that the shipment of some doses of the Moderna vaccine expected during the week the February 22 may be delayed.

 

Earlier this week, we introduced a simple way for eligible community members to sign up online for a future COVID-19 vaccine via a waitlist. As part of a hybrid scheduling model, individuals can now visit our COVID-19 webpage at mountnittany.org/coronavirus, click on the link: “Join the waitlist,” and complete the form at their earliest convenience. When it’s their turn for the COVID-19 vaccine, Mount Nittany Health will contact them with their appointment date and time.

 

We also continue to place scheduling calls to at-risk, vulnerable community members in our care at Mount Nittany Health.

 

We remain committed to continuing to vaccinate our community as long as it takes. Amid a national vaccine shortage, clinics will be scheduled as we confirm vaccine supply to ensure that no scheduled patient is left without a vaccine.

We will continue to provide regular updates on our website at mountnittany.org/coronavirus. Please check back regularly for the most up to date information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

The health system appreciates the community’s patience and understanding that this process will take time, and again ask that everyone please continue to keep themselves and the community safe by avoiding large gatherings, social distancing, wearing a mask and frequent hand washing.

 

For help with the waitlist system and for answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the COVID-19 vaccine information page at mountnittany.org/coronavirus.

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (February 12)

There are currently 22 COVID positive inpatients at Mount Nittany Medical Center, ages 49 to 88.

 

So far this month, there have been a total of 50 COVID positive inpatients admitted to the Medical Center, with an average of 22 COVID positive inpatients per day. While hospitalizations remain high, the past month has seen COVID inpatient numbers trending lower.  

 

We’re proud to be leading the effort to vaccinate our community. Since our vaccination efforts began in December, we’re thrilled to have been able to administer more than 9,000 vaccines, with over 7,000 future vaccines scheduled. Since opening our large scale community vaccine clinics with the expansion of the Department of Health’s vaccine eligibility Category 1A, we’ve vaccinated more than 4,500 community members in the last two weeks, with over 1,500 of those this week alone!


While we are grateful we’ve been able to help so many, we have the ability to do more. With the staff, space and systems already in place, we are capable of vaccinating a much larger number of people. We simply do not have the vaccine. We continue to regularly request additional vaccines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and as these shipments are received, immediately get them out to our community.

 

We continue to find out weekly how much vaccine the state (DOH) will provide to us and successfully schedule those appointments in a short amount of time, using every last dose of vaccine that we are given.

 

We understand the confusion and frustration regarding scheduling a vaccine appointment. We continue to listen to our community’s feedback and are working hard to improve the process to schedule a vaccine appointment. We are currently operating with a hybrid scheduling model for scheduling clinic appointments. The model is combined of online self-scheduling and phone calls to at-risk, vulnerable community members in our care at Mount Nittany Health.

 

We will continue to provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccine appointment availability every Tuesday on our website mountnittany.org/coronavirus. Please check back regularly for the most up to date information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

We remain committed to continuing to vaccinate our community as long as it takes. Amid a national vaccine shortage, clinics will be scheduled as we confirm vaccine supply to ensure that no scheduled patient is left without a vaccine.

 

We appreciate the community’s patience as we work to vaccinate everyone who wants a vaccine. This will take time. We ask that everyone please continue to keep yourself and the community safe by wearing a mask, social distancing, avoid large gatherings and washing your hands frequently.

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (February 5)

Mount Nittany Medical Center has 23 COVID positive inpatients between the ages of 39 to 96. 

So far this month, there have been a total of 12 COVID positive inpatients admitted to the Medical Center, with an average of 20 COVID positive inpatients per day. While hospitalizations remain high, the past several weeks have seen COVID inpatient numbers trending lower. 

This week, we are pleased to have started our appointment-based mass COVID vaccination clinics. At the end of today, we will have administered more than 2,500 doses this week, with nearly 5,000 future vaccination appointments scheduled through the first week in March.
 
Since our vaccination efforts began in December, we have given more than 7,200 doses of the vaccine.
 
Mount Nittany Health continues to regularly request additional vaccines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and as these shipments are received, immediately get them out to our community.
 
We are ready to provide COVID-19 vaccines to as many community members as are interested and have a plan in place to do just that. However, the number of eligible people in the PA phase 1A category is greater than the number of vaccines available and communities across the state are waiting for more vaccine from government agencies. 

 

Mount Nittany Health is only opening COVID-19 vaccine appointments when it receives confirmation from the PA DOH that vaccine is on its way to the hospital. This effort ensures that no scheduled patient is left without a vaccine.
 
We will announce the next available appointment dates as soon as we receive confirmation from the Pennsylvania Department of Health on our next vaccine supply shipment. Every Tuesday at noon, we will provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccine availability and appointments.
 
Our Executive Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Tiffany Cabibbo, will also be providing updates on our vaccination process during a Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania webinar next week, which we will share via our social media channels. She has also been invited to serve on an expert panel during Senator Corman’s virtual town hall next Wednesday, February 10.
 
While vaccination is a critical step in mitigating the spread of the virus, it will take time for enough of the population to be vaccinated to make a significant difference in the spread of the virus. This is why we must all continue to mask, practice social distancing, and frequently wash our hands. We appreciate the community’s patience as we work to vaccinate as many people as possible with the goal of putting an end to the pandemic.

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (January 29)

There are currently 28 COVID positive inpatients at Mount Nittany Medical Center, ages 13 to 96. 
 
There have been 203 COVID positive patients admitted to the Medical Center so far this month, with an average of 42 positive inpatients per day. By comparison, in the month of December, there were 246 COVID positive patients admitted to the Medical Center, with an average of 49 positive inpatients per day. While hospitalizations remain high, the past several weeks have seen COVID inpatient numbers trending lower.
 
Mount Nittany Health continues to operate under our Pandemic Response Plan to monitor and adjust services to meet the needs of the community. We continue to monitor on a daily basis, and will make adjustments as needed to serve our COVID positive inpatients and those needing us for acute and surgical care.
 
Earlier today we opened our COVID-19 vaccination online self-scheduling system for those community members in the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s (DOH) Phase 1A, including those living or working in Pennsylvania age 65 and over, as well as, those age 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions. As expected, due to high demand, appointments were filled quickly. Based on our available vaccine, we were able to schedule more than 2,000 vaccine appointments for the first two weeks of February.

In addition to those vaccines to be used in this round of inoculations, we have requested significant additional quantities of vaccine from DOH, which manages the supply for the state. Our goal is to vaccinate as many people as soon as possible. Unfortunately, at this time, demand for the vaccine greatly exceeds supply locally, across the state, and across the nation. We will open more clinics as DOH provides us with additional vaccine.
 
We are committed to administering the vaccine to our community as quickly as possible and at no cost. Every Tuesday at noon, we will provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccine availability and appointments. Please visit mountnittany.org/coronavirus regularly for the most up to date information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

While vaccination is a critical step in mitigating the spread of the virus, it will take time for enough of the population to be vaccinated to make a significant difference in the spread of the virus. This is why we must all continue to mask, practice social distancing, and frequently wash our hands. We appreciate the community’s patience as we work to vaccinate as many people as possible with the goal of putting an end to the pandemic.

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (January 22)

There are currently 32 COVID positive inpatients at Mount Nittany Medical Center, ages 49 to 96. 
 
So far this month, there have been 157 COVID positive patients admitted to the Medical Center, with an average of 46 positive inpatients per day. By comparison, in the month of December, there were 246 COVID positive patients admitted to the Medical Center, with an average of 49 positive inpatients per day. While hospitalizations remain high, the past several weeks have seen COVID inpatient numbers trending slightly lower.
 
We continue to operate under our Pandemic Response Plan to monitor and adjust services to meet the needs of the community. We will make adjustments as needed to serve our COVID positive inpatients and those needing us for acute and surgical care.
 
"We are so pleased that starting January 29, the health system plans to open an online self-scheduling system for COVID-19 vaccinations. We know that stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools that we have available. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine has shown to be safe, effective, and the best way to protect you and those around you from serious illnesses," states Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP,  chief medical officer, Mount Nittany Health.

Vaccines work with your immune system, so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Continuing to consistently follow additional COVID safety measures including social distancing, not meeting in large groups, masking, and frequent hand washing, is essential and helps to significantly reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together with the vaccine, these actions offer the best protection against the virus.

Pending the availability of vaccine, additional appointments will be opened starting the first week of February and will be offered to anyone who meets the Category 1A criteria, including those who fall into the recently expanded Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines. This includes individuals age 65 and older and individuals age 16-64 with high-risk conditions or immunocompromised (weakened immune system). Eligible individuals should visit mountnittany.org/coronavirus for available times and to schedule their appointment.

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (January 15)

Mount Nittany Health currently has 48 COVID positive inpatients ages 18 to 101. This month, there have been 120 COVID positive patients admitted to the Medical Center, with an average of 48 positive inpatients per day. 
 
Mount Nittany Health continues to operate under our Pandemic Response Plan to monitor and adjust services to meet the needs of the community. We continue to monitor daily and make adjustments as needed to serve our COVID positive inpatients and those needing acute and surgical care.
 
"Even with vaccines gradually being administered, everyone needs to continue taking the precautions we've all been talking about: wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and avoiding large gatherings. It is impossible to predict how long COVID will be with us, what levels of infection we'll see going forward, and how long it will take before most of the population can be vaccinated," states Nirmal Joshi, MD, chief medical officer, Mount Nittany Health. 

COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed to Pennsylvanians in a phased approach. Centre County is currently in the first of those phases, Phase 1A. It's important to understand that the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), as the state's public health agency, is the lead in terms of moving from one vaccination phase to the next. As information is finalized on additional vaccine allotments and the status of the DOH phased rollout process, Mount Nittany Health will keep the communities we serve informed.

DOH will continue to provide updates on where vaccines are being distributed across the commonwealth on health.pa.gov, and Mount Nittany Health share this information as it becomes available at mountnittany.org/coronavirus.

Mount Nittany Health also encourages patients to sign up for its Patient Portal at mymountnittanyhealth.com, an online tool where they can communicate with their provider about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (January 8)

Mount Nittany Medical Center currently has 41 COVID positive inpatients ages 34 to 98. A little over one week into the month, 55 COVID positive patients were admitted to the Medical Center with an average of 52 COVID positive inpatients per day. 

 

By comparison, in December, a total of 245 COVID positive patients were admitted, with an average of 49 COVID positive inpatients per day.  

 

"Because hospitalizations remain high, we recently made long-term adjustments to our services, including the cancellation of all elective surgeries and procedures through January, which includes elective cardiac procedures at the Medical Center. We continue to provide emergency surgical care and cardiac care. Although we have not made changes to the outpatient surgery center to date, we continue to monitor and evaluate our ability to continue normal operations. 

 

Daily monitoring continues and it's possible further reductions will be needed as we adjust and balance care for COVID hospitalized patients and those needing other types of medical care unless we see the cases go down. Stopping this pandemic will require us to use every tool that we have available, and receiving a COVID vaccine – along with continuing to consistently wear a mask, practice social distancing and frequently washing hands – is the absolute best way to fight this virus," shares Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP, chief medical officer, Mount Nittany Health.  

 

The vaccine is being distributed to Pennsylvanians in a phased approach, with the goal of providing it to everyone as soon as large quantities are available. The Pennsylvania Department of Health, as the state's public health agency, is the lead in terms of moving from one vaccination phase to the next. 

 

As has been reported, we have received additional allotments of vaccine through the DOH and are administering these vaccines based on guidelines provided by them, as well as, the Centres for Disease and Prevention (CDC). We continue to provide the vaccines to those in PA DOH category 1A, which includes our healthcare providers and staff, as well as Centre County healthcare-related workers. To date, we have administered nearly 2,000 initial doses, including close to 700 doses to those healthcare workers within the community. 

 

Subsequent phases will include PA DOH category 1B, which is defined as frontline essential workers and those over the age of 75, and PA DOH category 1C, which is defined as individuals aged 65-74 years, those with underlying medical conditions and other essential workers. As information is finalized on additional vaccine allotments and the status of the subsequent DOH phases, we will keep you and the communities that we serve informed of our plans to vaccinate these additional groups. 

 

Additional information and updates can be found at mountnittany.org/coronavirus.

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (December 30)

Mount Nittany Medical Center currently has 60 COVID positive inpatients, ages 29 to 100. To date, there have been 239 COVID positive patients admitted to the Medical Center this month, with an average of 48 COVID positive inpatients per day. However, in the past seven days, the average daily census has jumped to 57 COVID positive inpatients per day. 

 

By comparison, in November, a total of 143 COVID positive patients were admitted, with an average of 22 COVID positive inpatients per day.  

 

“We reached record numbers of COVID positive admissions this week, spiking at nearly 70 inpatients several times over the past few days. Today, nearly 40 percent of our total inpatients are COVID positive and it’s very possible that the numbers will continue to climb. Our local trends continue to be alarming. It is important to be clear that the continued high number of COVID cases in the community means we cannot provide our normal range of services.  

 

We are doing everything that we can to preserve as many services as possible, but like every other hospital and healthcare system, there are limits.  

 

Last week, we announced a long-term reduction in surgical care. Because of the spike in daily census of COVID positive inpatients, we are making additional reductions in surgical care services. Through January, we are canceling all elective surgeries and procedures, which includes elective cardiac procedures at the Medical Center. We will continue to provide emergency surgical care and cardiac care. Although we are not making changes to the outpatient surgery center at this time, we will continue to monitor and evaluate our ability to continue normal operations. 

 

Daily monitoring will continue and it's possible further reductions will be needed as we adjust and balance care for COVID hospitalized patients and those needing other types of medical care unless we see the cases go down. 

 

While we are hopeful of the promises of the vaccine and actively immunizing our employees, medical staff and a limited number of community healthcare workers, it is critical that the current level of community spread is reduced in order to preserve local access to critical health services.  

 

It is uncertain when vaccines will be available to the general public, so please remain vigilant by consistently wearing a mask, frequent hand washing and maintaining social distance. These measures are especially important during the New Year holiday as we continue to see an alarming rise in COVID cases and subsequent hospitalizations" states Nirmal Joshi, MD, chief medical officer, Mount Nittany Health. 

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (December 23)

Mount Nittany Medical Center currently has 54 COVID positive inpatients, ages 38 to 97. To date, there have been 173 COVID positive patients admitted to the Medical Center this month, with an average of 46 COVID positive inpatients per day.

By comparison, in November, a total of 143 COVID positive patients were admitted, with an average of 22 COVID positive inpatients per day. 

“For the past three weeks, the daily number of COVID positive patients hospitalized has remained high, with numbers consistently above 50 this week. Because of this, last week we announced long-term adjustments to our services. While health system clinical leaders have been managing the number of elective surgeries that require overnight stays on a day-to-day basis, approximately half of these surgeries and some other procedures are being rescheduled through January 11, 2021. Daily monitoring will continue, with any further reductions made as needed. Depending on future trends, other services may also be adjusted as the health system balances care for COVID hospitalized patients and those needing other care. 

Last week, we were thrilled to receive our first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines and spent late last week and part of this week administering the approximately 1,000 vaccinations to Mount Nittany Health staff. 

We are incredibly hopeful, but it’s essential that we remember this isn’t over yet. It’s going to be a while before everyone can be vaccinated, so please remain vigilant by consistently following COVID safety measures, including wearing a mask, frequent hand washing and maintaining social distance. These measures are especially important during the holidays as we continue to see a rise in COVID cases and subsequent hospitalizations. 

We thank you for your trust in us and we’ll continue to be here to care for you, but we ask that you also do your part to stay safe," shares Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP, chief medical officer, Mount Nittany Health.

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (December 18)

Mount Nittany Medical Center currently has 51 COVID positive inpatients ages 27 to 96. To date, there have been 128 COVID positive patients admitted to the Medical Center this month, with an average of 43 COVID positive inpatients per day.

By comparison, in November, a total of 143 COVID positive patients were admitted, with an average of 22 COVID positive inpatients per day. 

“The daily number of COVID positive patients in the hospital remain high and have consistently been at or near 50 the past two weeks. Earlier this week we announced long-term adjustments to our services. While health system clinical leaders have been managing the number of elective surgeries that require overnight stays on a day-to-day basis, given the sustained high volume of hospitalizations, approximately half of these surgeries and some other procedures will be rescheduled through January 11, 2021. Daily monitoring will continue, with any further reductions made as needed. Depending on future trends, other services may also be adjusted as the health system balances care for COVID hospitalized patients and those needing other care. 

We ask that everyone continue to be vigilant by consistently following COVID safety measures, including wearing a mask, frequent hand washing and maintaining social distance. These measures are especially important during the holidays as we continue to see a rise in COVID cases and subsequent hospitalizations. 

We thank you for your trust in us and we’ll continue to be here to care for you, but we ask that you also do your part to stay safe,” states Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP, chief medical officer, Mount Nittany Health.

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (December 11)

Mount Nittany Medical Center currently has 47 COVID positive inpatients ages 35 to 91. To date, there have been 75 COVID positive patients admitted to the Medical Center this month, with an average of 39 COVID positive inpatients per day.

In November, a total of 143 COVID positive patients were admitted, with an average of 22 COVID positive inpatients per day. By comparison, Mount Nittany Medical Center had a total of 58 COVID positive patients admitted in October, with an average of 11 COVID positive inpatients per day. 

The daily number of COVID positive patients in the hospital has consistently been at or near 40 this month, with numbers reaching close to 50 in the last several days. In anticipation that these numbers will continue to grow in the next few weeks, the Medical Center is operating under our surge capacity plan and evaluating further necessary adjustments to services to help ensure that we have the resources to care for patients with COVID and others that require medical and emergency attention. 

"Again, it is absolutely necessary that we consistently practice preventive measures, including social distancing, masking, and frequent hand washing, in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. Please do your part to help our hospital and our community," states Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP, chief medical officer, Mount Nittany Health.

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (December 4)

Mount Nittany Medical Center currently has 35 COVID positive inpatients, ages 33 to 91. To date, there have been 18 positive patients admitted to the Medical Center this month, with an average of 39 COVID positive inpatients per day.

In November, a total of 143 COVID positive patients were admitted, with an average of 22 COVID positive inpatients per day. By comparison, Mount Nittany Medical Center had a total of 58 COVID positive patients admitted in October, with an average of 11 COVID positive inpatients per day. 

Similar to what hospitals are experiencing regionally, statewide, and nationwide, we continue to see rising numbers in cases and in hospitalizations. As we fight the pandemic, providing care for this many patients continues to be a challenge for the health system and for our staff.

Mount Nittany Medical Center continues to operate under our COVID surge capacity plan, which includes continuous monitoring and additional measures to provide the best possible care for all of our patients, while closely following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for patient placement and care. In an effort to manage capacity, we will be rescheduling elective surgical procedures requiring an admission during periods of high COVID patient volume. 

 "The holidays will certainly look different this year, and we understand that spending time away from loved ones – especially now – is far from ideal. Until a safe and effective vaccine is available, however, we cannot stress enough that each of us must take responsibility and work together to protect our community, particularly the most vulnerable populations among us," states Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP, chief medical officer, Mount Nittany Health

It is absolutely necessary to consistently practice preventive measures, including social distancing, masking, and frequent hand washing, to stop the spread of COVID-19. "We expect to see numbers continue to climb if we do not collectively take steps to mitigate the spread of the virus. Please do your part to help all of us get safely to the other side of the pandemic," shares Dr. Joshi. 

Mount Nittany Health weekly COVID update (November  28)

Like other health systems in our region and nationally, Mount Nittany Medical Center continues to see increasing numbers of COVID-positive inpatients. There are currently 41 COVID positive inpatients, ages 36-91, at the Medical Center, bringing the total admissions to 117 in November.

Mount Nittany Medical Center continues to operate under our COVID surge capacity plan, which includes continuous monitoring and additional measures to provide the best possible care for all of our patients, while closely following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for patient placement and care. In an effort to manage capacity, we will be rescheduling elective surgical procedures requiring an admission during periods of high COVID patient volume.

Additional services may be impacted in the coming days. We are doing what we can to continue providing as many of our usual services to the community as possible, but there are limits to what can be done as the number of cases continues to climb.

"As we face these additional challenges, it is critical for everyone to closely follow COVID safety measures, including social distancing, masking and frequent hand washing. This is more important now than ever. We must work together to care for one another, especially our most vulnerable community members," states Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP, chief medical officer, Mount Nittany Health.