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WGH taking steps in response to COVID surge

As COVID-19 makes a surge once again, Warren General Hospital is making changes.

“Today, we reinstated the weekly Warren General Hospital COVID- 19 Planning Team and held a meeting at 8:30 a.m.,” according to CEO Rick Allen. “This action and meeting was in response to the rapid rise in positive COVID-19 inpatients and high number of outpatients tested and discharged to quarantine through the WGH Emergency Room and Walk-In Clinic.”

“As of this morning, we have six COVID-19 positive inpatients in the hospital,” Allen said.

The number of patients was zero to three for months. “Couple this rise in COVID-19 positive patients with our unusually high number of very ill medical/surgical inpatients and outpatients and we are facing a very difficult fall and winter,” he said. “Further exacerbating the situation is that all other hospitals serving our region are experiencing the same rise in COVID-19 positive inpatients and outpatients and filled with very ill medical/surgical inpatients.”

“This has caused transfers out of the WGH Emergency Room to be very difficult with 72-plus hour wait times,”

To help address our situation and abate further spread of the COVID – 19 virus, the following actions will be taken:

¯ In-person screening will be reinstated at Hospital Entrances B and F. This is to make sure all are masking and have a temperature under 100.4 degrees F;

¯ “No visitation and no visitor” policy will be implemented Tuesday Sept. 7, 2021. Patients requiring physical or behavioral support, patients on the Maternity Unit (in active delivery) and patients at the end of life will be allowed one visitor or support person;

¯ Masks are now required to be worn at all in-hospital meetings and during active work and while walking throughout the hospital;

¯ Starting Sept. 7, 2021 the WGH Lab will reinstate drive-up COVID-19 sample collection and testing from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Patients will be required to go through their Primary Care Physician or the Walk In Clinic to be scheduled;

¯ All WGH surgical patients and medical admissions will be required to have a COVID-19 test; and

¯ Staff will be scheduled to answer calls to the COVID-19 Information Line.

Allen strongly encouraged “all Warren General Hospital and Warren Medical Group staff and physicians to be vaccinated.”

“We are aware that overall 83 percent of recent COVID-19 positive inpatient admissions across the region are individuals who are unvaccinated,” he said. “If you are not vaccinated , please consider the benefits and contact your supervisor to get scheduled to be inoculated.”

Similarly, he strongly encouraged those personnel “to wear your mask at all times outside of the hospital.”

Allen said staffing at the hospital is “critically low.” A recruiting effort – especially for registered nurses – in underway and will continue. “This is an all-out effort,” Allen said.

“Thank you for your on-going dedication and service to those in our community requiring medical care and treatment,” Allen said to the staff in a Wednesday email. “Together we will get through this pandemic.”

COVID update

There were eight new cases reported Wednesday in Warren County by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, bringing the county’s total to 2,840 cases – the 27 cases reported on Tuesday was revised to 24. Of those, 2,165 were confirmed and 675 probables.

A total of 14,508 county residents were fully vaccinated, according to the department.

The number of COVID-related deaths of county residents remained at 107.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every Pennsylvania county except Bradford County was in a high transmission rate as of Wednesday. Bradford County’s rate was “substantial.”

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