The number of new COVID-19 cases in Centre County has been going down recently, but at the same time, hospitalizations are up.
Nirmal Joshi, chief medical officer at Mount Nittany Health, said that throughout October, Mount Nittany Medical Center saw a significant increase in hospitalized patients.
Recently, the hospital has has 15, 16 or even 19 COVID patients at one time. That is up from two or three at a time.
“That is one trend that is bothersome to us," Joshi said during a Facebook event Wednesday focused on COVID-19.
He said there is no “magic number” for the hospital’s capacity. It has 41 ventilators, for example, but so far only one to two patients have needed them at a time.
Other factors include having enough personal protective equipment and the capacity to care for non-coronavirus patients.
But, Joshi added about the COVID caseload: “When patients begin to get consistently above 20, we worry about hospital capacity and ability to effectively take care of everyone — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19.”
Joshi did say the severity of the illness of patients seems to have gone down somewhat.
As of Wednesday, there were 14 COVID inpatients at Mount Nittany.
On Thursday morning the state Department of Health's dashboard reports 4,421 cases in Centre County. That's up from 4,366 Wednesday.
Statewide, there are 220,566 known cases. That's a 2,900 one-day increase since Wednesday — the largest single-day increase in the state.