Hospitalizations high across the Midstate: How is this wave different?

Coronavirus

MIDSTATE, Pa. (WHTM) — Across the Midstate, hospitalizations are at an all-time high, and hospitals are stressed.

“There are regions of the state that are more close to crisis and others that are not,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security.

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Take Mifflin County, for example, where 44 patients are in the hospital. That may not sound like much, but given the county’s small population, it’s actually the highest rate of people hospitalized per 100,000 in the region.

Dr. Adalja also points out — not all hospitalizations are created equal.

“What percentage of people admitted there with COVID are getting remdesivir or getting oxygen so you can kind of subtract people who are there for incidental COVID,” Dr. Adalja said.

He says this wave is a little different than last year.

“This isn’t the beginning of the pandemic. This is not last year. We’ve got a lot more tools and a lot more knowledge under some level of control in hospitals,” Dr. Adalja said.

County by county, the Midstate is seeing numbers higher than last year, a sign of just how quickly the omicron variant is spreading.

“There are capacity concerns especially in hospitals in Pennsylvania that are more rural that are not necessarily with big ICU capacities,” Dr. Adalja added.

Dr. Adalja says omicron seems to have a cycle — a big spike in cases leads to a peak, and then a drop-off. So where are we in that cycle right now?

“Cases are slowing in NYC.  Looking at wastewater sampling in Boston, the number of COVID isolations is going down so I do suspect this is going to peak,” Dr. Adalja said.

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