Chestnut Hill Hospital treating 15 COVID-19 cases. In July, there were 2.

by Kate Dolan
Posted 9/13/21

The Chestnut Hill Hospital is currently treating 15 patients for COVID-19. Friday morning, September 12, three of those patients were in the Intensive Care Unit.

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Chestnut Hill Hospital treating 15 COVID-19 cases. In July, there were 2.

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The Chestnut Hill Hospital is currently treating 15 patients for COVID-19. Friday morning, September 12, three of those patients were in the Intensive Care Unit.

Two of the patients in the ICU, which has a total of 14 beds, are on ventilators. Additionally, one death was reported for September 10. In the year and a half since March 1, 2020, the hospital has discharged 1,153 Covid-19 patients and there have been 213 mortalities.

The Delta variant caused a surge in cases around the city in July and August, with Philadelphia hospitalizations doubling several times, leading to mask and vaccine mandates.

“Chestnut Hill Hospital does not evaluate the epidemiology of COVID on an individual case basis,” said John Cacciamani, MD, geriatrician and President and CEO of the hospital, answering questions via email. “We receive updates on the regional cases that indicate that most new infections are the Delta variant. Treatment is the same.”

The total 15-patient count is an increase at the hospital from nearly three weeks ago. On August 23 the number of patients for that 24-hour period being treated for COVID-19 stood at eight, with one in the ICU. That same day, there was one mortality.

A month before, on July 23, when a reported 55 patients were being treated in the city’s hospitals in total, two were at CHH and the ICU didn’t have any COVID-19 patients. On June 23, four patients were being treated for the virus at CHH and zero were reported in the ICU.

Citywide, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health reported that 195 patients are being treated in Philadelphia hospitals for the virus as of September 9. Springfield Township, Montgomery County, reports 68 cases since mid-July, and no deaths.

At Philadelphia’s Covid-19 press update on September 9, Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole expressed some optimism as to the latest numbers and indicated that the summer’s surge may be showing signs of stalling.

“There is some evidence that we might be reaching a peak in new cases and hospitalizations,” Bettigole said, reporting that the average new cases per day are down. Last week, the city was averaging 307 new cases per day. On Thursday, it was down to 282. The percentage of tests coming back in the city as positive is also down, dropping from seven percent on August 23 to five percent September 9.

Of the 70 tests reported at CHH for September 10, four tests came back as positive and 66 as negative.

Bettigole also announced progress on the vaccine front at the press briefing, saying that city data shows “an uptick in the rate of new vaccination in the past few weeks.”

“More than two-thirds of adults in Philadelphia are now fully vaccinated and nearly 82 percent of adults have had at least one dose,” Bettigole said.

In zip code 19118, 4,589 people are fully vaccinated, 5,250 have at least one dose out of a total population of approximately 8,400 eligible. In zip 19119, 13,197 are fully vaccinated, 15.049 partially, out of approximately 22,000 eligible.

Bettigole said that while breakthrough cases have occurred, “overall, the vast majority of cases remain among unvaccinated people,” she said.

While much of the focus has been on the Delta variant and its difference in terms of transmissibility, Cacciamani wrote that signs of infection include fever, dry cough and tiredness and may be accompanied by aches, loss of smell and shortness of breath.

“The symptoms for the Delta variant are the same as the initial COVID-19 infection, but sometimes less severe for those who are vaccinated,” wrote Cacciamani. “COVID-19 affects people in different ways. Most infected people develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, there have been 156,804 confirmed cases of the virus among Philadelphians and there have been 3,827 fatalities.

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