PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Temple University’s Liacouras Center accepted its first COVID-19 patient on Monday as Philadelphia officials announced the city’s cases of the coronavirus have surpassed 9,500. Philadelphia now has 339 new cases, bringing the citywide total to 9,553.
The latest increase is due to a backlog in lab testing results from the weekend. Department of Health officials say they’re also seeing a rise in hospitalizations, with as many as 923 patients now in area hospitals.
With hospital beds and ICU units reaching capacity comes news of the city’s first patients being admitted to the Liacouras Center, the city’s field hospital surge facility.
“Just getting word the first patient has been accepted into the Liacouras Center,” Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy said.'It's Just Too Much.' Neighbors Remember 51-Year-Old Gunned Down In Poplar
The Liacouras Center has been constructed to treat patients 18 and older who do not require ventilators but are still in need of medical care during the final stage of their coronavirus recovery.
“We’ve seen a consistent increase in admissions to area hospitals because of the virus,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “We continue to work closely with hospitals in the Philadelphia area to ensure that all patients receive quality care. It’s become clear that treating some patients at the CSF-Liacouras Center will help these hospitals continue to do that. We again thank Temple University for providing the facility and for its tremendous support throughout this process.”
Health officials who continue to see positive cases and hospital admissions rise say the worst may not be over for Philadelphia.
“We are not near the worst of this according to recent data,” Farley said.
The city has requested more funding from the federal government to address the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.MORE NEWS: Caught On Camera: Fire Rips Through Vacant Bar In Penns Grove, New Jersey
CBS3’s Natasha Brown contributed to this report.