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Mount Nittany Medical Center seeing record number of COVID-19 patients

MNMC Covid Dashboard 12.14.21
Mount Nittany Medical Center in Centre County was treating a record number of COVID-19 patients on Dec. 14, 2021.

Centre County is seeing a record number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, a situation that is ongoing and straining the region's health care providers, according to Mount Nittany Medical Center.

Tom Charles, executive vice president of Mount Nittany Health, spoke to the Centre County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, describing the "incredibly difficulty circumstances" the hospital is facing.

Charles said that since the middle of September, almost every day they had at least 30 COVID-positive patients in the hospital, and long-term that’s a “high sustained number.”

“Alarmingly, and I mean alarmingly, you can see what’s happened to that 30 number in the last couple of weeks — it’s more than doubled,” he said. “Last night, we had the highest number of COVID patients in our hospital at midnight that we’ve had at any point in the 21 month pandemic."

He said the hospital had had 76 COVID patients at that point.

“We will not be able to get back to normal operations until the transmission in the community goes down significantly,” he said.

Charles said the high numbers have led to postponing surgeries, longer wait times in the emergency department and recently briefly asking emergency services to route some ambulances away from the hospital.

And, he noted, other hospitals in central Pennsylvania are in similar situations.