"The past few weeks Venango County’s cases having been going up at a very steady and rapid pace," said Venango County Commissioner Albert "Chip" Abromovic on social media tonight. He says the county has been looking hard to pinpoint specific causes or events to understand the spread, but says they haven't been able to determine any direct cause as yet.
UPMC Northwest spokesperson Karen Beardsley said they have three of only eight ICU beds in use at the moment and there are currently seven patients hospitalized with COVID-19. "About the same as in spring. We have seen a few cases off and on over the summer months. The total number of hospitalizations since March is 32," she said.
Beardsley said the hospital has "adequate bed capacity and staff" to accommodate current patient numbers and that there are plans in place if they suddenly have a surge of new hospitalizations.
The hospital released the following statement:
"As expected, there are growing numbers of people with COVID-19 in the communities UPMC serves throughout Pennsylvania, western Maryland and New York. Across the UPMC system, COVID-19 cases occupy less than 5% of our hospital beds. We remain fully able to care for all patients, with or without COVID-19. Our hospitals – urban, suburban and rural – are well staffed, have excellent personal protective equipment plans and supplies, and have the resources to serve the health care needs of our communities.
All UPMC hospitals, facilities and providers have the support of a world class academic medical center, using a wealth of knowledge and guidance on best practices. Should the need arise, we can share resources, transfer patients or mobilize staff between facilities. With the increase in cases in the communities we serve, it remains important for everyone to follow the guidance of our public health experts. This includes wearing a mask, following physical distancing recommendations, staying home when ill and washing hands frequently. "
Crawford County has also experienced an uptick of cases soaring past 500 total cases since the end of March when the only 216 cases.
So far no new restrictions have been added to the county by the Pennsylvania Department of Health or Governor Tom Wolf.
Earlier today, the Health Department announced 2,202 additional cases of COVID throughout the commonwealth, bringing the Pennsylvania total to 202,876. The surge statewide mirrors those seen in the spring. "Daily increases are now comparable with what we saw in April 2020," the announcement said.
The release also included information what was described as a "significant" increases in the number of cases among those in the 19 to 24-year-old age bracket. In April only 7 percent of the cases in Northwest Pennsylvania involved members of that age group. So far in October, that same age group represents 15 percent of the cases.
In response to this information, "an alert was was sent to healthcare providers about the changing COVID-19 case demographics," today's release said.