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.