Mercer County doctors give insight into rising virus cases and hospitalizations

Local News

More people are getting COVID-19 and more people need hospitalized

SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – Health experts in Mercer County say more people are being hospitalized with COVID-19.

Dr. Dave Shellenbarger with Sharon Regional Medical Center and Dr. George Garrow with Primary Health Network say the rise in numbers in Mercer County definitely reflects what they’re seeing – more people getting COVID-19 and more people needing hospitalized.

In August and September, Mercer County was averaging seven new cases a day. Then in October, new cases started to rise, averaging 13 a day in October before jumping to 58 a day in November and 100 a day so far in December.

The number of people dying has gone up as well. There were four deaths in August, 7 in September, 22 in November and 11 so far in December. So, like cases, an increase as well. Shellenbarger says they haven’t maxed out their capacity yet.

“So far we’ve been able to keep up with that. It actually slowed down slightly this past week, but we’re really anticipating another surge this coming weekend and right after Christmas. We have tot think ahead and plan and make those new spaces available,” he said.

Cases in the county broken down by zip code include:

  • Hermitage – 743
  • Gove City – 666
  • Greenville – 496
  • Mercer – 438
  • Sharon – 425

Garrow said workers are physically and emotionally drained.

“Colleagues, brothers and sisters in health care that are working on the inpatient setting, they are working flat out, busy, full-time,” he said.

Both doctors say the surge is due to more people indoors, gathering around the holidays, and people getting tired of all the restrictions. They say people are letting their guard down and putting themselves in higher-risk situations.

“Day in and day out, seeing all those patients, it’s a little more work than it used to be because you’re wearing all the equipment that you weren’t wearing before. All those things make the day go differently than you are used to,” Shellenbarger said.

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