New COVID-19 infections hit another all-time high in Pennsylvania

Maggie Kent Image
Thursday, November 19, 2020
New COVID-19 infections hit another all-time high in Pa.
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"November is setting out to be the worst month ever with coronavirus. Worse than April, worse than May, and we thought that was bad," said Dr. Ala Stanford.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Pennsylvania health officials reported more than 7,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a number now 3.5 times higher than the peak in the spring.

"November is setting out to be the worst month ever with coronavirus. Worse than April, worse than May, and we thought that was bad," said Dr. Ala Stanford.

Stanford is the founder of Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium and helps to serve the community with free testing outside of the Sharon Baptist Church in Wynnefield Heights.

The issue of rising coronavirus cases and infections was illustrated by lines of people waiting outside to be tested for the virus at Sayre Health on the 5800 block of Walnut Street in West Philadelphia.

Doctors across the area are experiencing an influx of patients.

"We're definitely seeing an uptick and a resurgence, a second surge if you will," said Dr. Mike Benninghoff, medical director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Christiana Hospital.

As we see local governments increasing restrictions again, there may be frustration on the part of business owners and residents. Stanford says they are more than necessary.

"The positivity rates continue to go up and that's why these restrictions are needed, and quite honestly they're probably not as restrictive as they should be," said Sanford.

As the number of cases continues to rise in Pennsylvania, hospitalizations caused by COVID-19 are higher now than ever before. The use of ventilators is also rising.

"It's really traumatic to watch because I saw this play out in the spring. So, I just am imploring our city to do it again because we already did it. To just be patient and know better days are coming," said Stanford.

Now, hospitals are looking at hospitalization numbers in Philadelphia to forecast what may come. And medical administrators put together surge staffing plans.

"Usually, the lag is about two to three weeks behind what they're seeing, and if they are getting overwhelmed with patients and we get prepared," said Benninghoff.


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