PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The holiday festivities may have come to an end, but local doctors say the COVID-19 pandemic is still here.
UPMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Don Yealy says they’re seeing more COVID hospitalizations.READ MORE: Allegheny Health Network Preps For COVID-19 Surge Following Holidays
“We’ve had a continuous increase over the past seven to 10 days,” said Yealy. “Never had gotten very low, [but] now we’re at higher numbers than even two to three weeks ago.”
Yealy says this is the second highest peak they’ve seen, and it happened in a short period of time.
“The pattern still looks the same in that roughly three-fourths of people who need to come into the hospital are unvaccinated,” said Yealy. “Of those that are vaccinated, they are almost always people with advanced age or underlying immunosuppression where we knew a vaccine wouldn’t have as much effect.”
Yealy also says more children are contracting the virus.
“We’re at some of the highest levels in not only Allegheny County, but around the country,” said Yealy. “Children not only coming to the hospital seeking care, but being admitted.”
And as cases skyrocket, Yealy says they’re also facing staffing shortages.
“It is a really big challenge, but we have more workers today on some sort of restriction because of COVID testing than we ever had before,” said Yealy.
These are problems AHN is tackling as well.
An AHN spokesperson says they just reinstated their patient visitation restrictions. Each patient will only be allowed one visitor per day. However, some exceptions may be made for those in certain areas such as labor and delivery, surgery and end of life care. The visitor must be 18 or older, present valid ID and wear a mask.
Meanwhile, doctors from both hospitals remind people to get vaccinated to help stop the spread.