The COVID-19 pandemic continued its assault on Lawrence County with a record number of new cases Thursday while UPMC Jameson reported no available intensive care unit beds.
The county saw an increase of 111 new positive cases — its first day of cases in triple digits — after the previous record of 98 was set Wednesday. Of the new cases, 95 were confirmed and 16 probable. Another death was reported Thursday, bringing the total to 71. The county’s case total stands at 2,441 since the beginning of the pandemic, with 1,938 confirmed and 503 probable.
At UPMC Jameson, Lawrence County’s lone hospital, there are 30 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, down by two from Wednesday. Three COVID-19 ventilators are in use, and six adult patients are in the COVID-19 intensive care unit. Data reported to the state Health Department indicate there are 12 ICU beds in the hospital, all of which are accounted for.
"Our hospital census fluctuates continuously as inpatients are admitted and discharged around the clock, and we are able to adjust accordingly," UPMC Jameson senior manager of regional communications Lisa Lombardo said. "UPMC Jameson is providing all services, our emergency department is open and we are prepared to care for all patients. As a 40-hospital academic medical system, we share equipment and resources across our locations, which includes care team staffing, and our regional model of care delivery is designed for seamless transfer of patients between our facilities."
Pennsylvania’s top health official, Dr. Rachel Levine, said Thursday she’s worried about modeling that shows the state will run out of intensive care beds this month. More than 85 percent of the state’s ICU beds are occupied amid an enormous statewide spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations this fall.
Levine said health officials want the public to take the state’s mitigation efforts seriously to slow the surge of COVID cases.
“I see that as a significant concern,” Levine said, adding that the state’s mitigation efforts, including a stay-at-home advisory and an order to wear face coverings, are intended to slow the surge.
Lawrence County entered its sixth consecutive week of substantial levels of community transmission on Monday. The county reported 81 new negative tests Thursday.
The state also set a single-day COVID-19 case record with 11,406 new cases, bringing the total to 386,837. There were 187 new deaths reported, bringing the total to 10,944. Out of the total deaths, 6,751 were residents from nursing or personal care facilities. Additionally, there are 5,071 individuals hospitalized statewide with COVID-19. Of that number, 1,065 patients are in the intensive care unit and 588 COVID-19 ventilators are in use.
According to numbers reported to the health department on Tuesday, Quality Life Services New Castle has 95 residents, 104 resident cases, 56 staff cases and 27 deaths.
According to numbers reported on Sept. 22, QLS had 127 residents, eight staff cases, zero resident cases and zero deaths.
Edison Manor Nursing & Rehab Center also reported Tuesday a census of 77, 79 resident cases, 37 staff cases and six deaths. On Sept. 22, Edison reported a census of 93, zero resident cases, zero staff cases and zero deaths.
The numbers reported to the health department from long-term care facilities are cumulative.
Statewide percent positivity from Nov. 20 through Nov. 26 stood at 11.7 percent. Most hospitalized patients are 65 or older, and most of the deaths come from patients 65 or older.
CNHI Harrisburg reporter John Finnerty contributed to this report.