COVID-19 resurgence causing staffing issues at 911 call center in Delaware County

Thursday, November 12, 2020
COVID-19 resurgence causing issues at 911 call center in Delaware County
The COVID-19 resurgence is causing staffing issues at the Delaware County 911 call center, Action News has learned.

MEDIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The COVID-19 resurgence in Delaware County is causing staffing issues at a 911 call center and hospitals to divert patients, Action News has learned.

"The stats tell you there's a problem, and that problem is going to be here at least till the spring," said Media Mayor Bob McMahon.

Officials say an outbreak within the county's 911 call center in Media, Pennsylvania is causing staff shortages.

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Officials say there is another outbreak among health care workers at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby.

In Upper Darby, they have been taking a number of precautions since late summer after an outbreak of the virus among sanitation workers.

"We started a staggered schedule so they're not all coming in at once and leaving at once, we've maintained that. And we've continued it ever since and it just seems to be working," said Mayor Barbarann Keffer.

According to the Covid Tracking Project, on Tuesday, 61,964 people were being treated nationwide at hospitals for COVID-19. The highest number at any point during the pandemic.

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Officials say the recent spike in cases has caused Delaware County hospitals to divert patients and longer than normal wait times in emergency rooms.

Next door in Chester County, they are also seeing spikes.

"As we look at the county numbers they also started to increase over the past week or so," says Dr. Kevin Sowti, the medical director and section chief for Internal and Hospital Medicine at Chester County Hospital.

"And we worry about that and we've been planning for months for this ever since the first peak. We meet twice weekly, we've been planning for a second or third wave," said Sowti.

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Daily cases hit a record in Pennsylvania as the pandemic continues across the US.

He and others have this word of advice.

"Keep that social distancing, we have to keep the masks on and just believe in the science and we can beat this if we work together," he added.

Delaware County officials have called a news conference for Thursday afternoon to address the dire situation.