The latest COVID-19 numbers, representing new cases reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, fell to 885 Monday. It is the first significant drop since the first Coronavirus case was reported March 6.
New cases leveled off last week, ranging between 1,200 and 1,500 a day. Today’s official numbers (885) from the state represent about a 40% drop in new cases.
If the state’s figures are right, however, new cases in Franklin County are still on the rise.
DOD reported 227 total positive cases in the county as of 12 a.m. Monday, up 22 from yesterday’s 205 cases.
DOH does not track recoveries, only total cases and reported deaths. It’s difficult to tell how accurate and current the state’s numbers are given reporting lags.
For instance, DOH is still reporting two Coronavirus related deaths in Franklin County, while both Franklin County Coroner Jeff Conner and Chambersburg Hospital report more.
COVID-19 numbers differ
Conner reported two new deaths Sunday, bringing his official count to five.
WellSpan Health, which operates Chambersburg and Waynesboro Hospitals, reports seven COVID-19 deaths to date at Chambersburg hospital. Three of those were Cumberland County residents. As of Monday, 25 patients were being treated for Coronavirus infections. Seventeen had tested positive for the virus; 7 were suspected to have the virus.
With that many patients with COVID-19 infections, WellSpan was questioned about the availability of ventilators at Chambersburg Hospital. The worst COVID-19 patients need ventilators or breathing tubes to help them breathe.
A WellSpan spokesperson insisted ventilators and other equipment to treat Coronavirus patients were adequate to meet the need.
“We have adequate supplies and equipment, including ventilators, to meet our existing patient care needs in Chambersburg and across our region, the spokesperson said. “In addition, if needed, we have the ability to share resources across our integrated health system.”
WellSpan has eight hospitals and about 200 care locations in the counties it serves.
“We can coordinate our resources to ensure all of our hospitals and care teams are adequately equipped to respond to the needs of our patients,” the spokesperson said.
Four people were being treated at Waynesboro Hospital Monday as suspected COVID-19 cases.
In addition to having adequate equipment and supplies to treat Coronavirus cases, Chambersburg Hospital is now using a new experimental tool — transfusions of plasma containing OVID-19 antibodies donated by recovered patients. In a recent news release, WellSpan said the treatment is providing promising results.