LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — COVID rates are climbing and climbing swiftly. From LGH to UPMC, the situation is becoming more concerning every minute. Lancaster County is not at a crisis point yet — but it’s getting close. The county has set yet another pandemic record, with more than 180 current hospitalizations, which are numbers we haven’t seen since last December.

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“We’re seeing an increase in COVID cases. We’re seeing levels that are continuing to increase, close to most of last winter. We’re seeing a return of the flu. We haven’t seen a lot of flu yet but it looks like it’s going to be a typical flu season. And we’re seeing a return of people who delayed their care,” said Dr. John Goldman, infectious disease specialist at UPMC.

EMS agencies are experiencing all of this firsthand, with some patients being diverted to other hospitals because there aren’t enough beds, or enough people to treat them.

“Our normal off time for transferring care in the emergency department is anywhere between 10-20 minutes. We are seeing increased times, with the maximum we have seen well over 120 minutes to three hours,” said Richard Pearson, director of education at Lancaster EMS.

What’s happening now is becoming the norm, and it’s only projected to get worse through the holidays.

“Our hospitals are very full. Our hospitals are very busy and again what I tell people is if you want to stay out of our hospitals, if you want to stay out of our emergency rooms, you want to keep yourself.  Get your COVID shot, get your flu shot,” Dr. Goldman added.