PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As coronavirus cases continue to rise in Pennsylvania, health officials are making contingency plans in case hospitals become overwhelmed. The state reported 103 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, bringing the number of cases in the state to 371.
“Adding more hospital beds, adding some additional facilities. We’re looking about maybe less sick patients could be at ambulatory surgical facilities,” Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said.
Levine says patients who do not require acute care could potentially be put up in hotels, or something similar, while they recover and then be transferred to a hospital if needed.
An emergency physician in Philadelphia who tested positive for COVID-19 and did not want to be identified, told CBS3 on Friday that hospitals are not yet feeling the pinch.
“We’re not panicking on the inside. We just want all pieces of this to come together so we can all work together and combat it,” she said.
The ER wanted to let people know the virus is manageable for patients and doctors.
“I’m feeling OK. I’m pretty wiped out, confined to my bedroom and feel pretty weak,” she said. “It is something that you can recover from. The vast majority of people will do well.”
She says stopping the spread is imperative as she is worried about medical supplies, which are limited.
“Right now, we need the public to join with us. It’s not just a medical establishment response. We need everyone to do their part to try and eliminate overwhelming the hospital resources,” she said.
Some nurses who reached out to CBS3 on Saturday say there’s still a dire need for personal protective equipment.
Officials say Philadelphia (85) and Montgomery County (77) have the most coronavirus cases in the state.
Elsewhere locally, there are seven cases in Berks County, 24 in Bucks County, 19 in Chester County, 33 in Delaware County, 13 in Lehigh County and 17 in Northampton County.
Approximately 40 patients in the state have been hospitalized, officials say.