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Facing ‘Alarming Pressure,’ Mount Nittany Medical Center Cancels Elective Surgeries Through January

State College’s Mount Nittany Medical Center is once again modifying its procedures as it faces record numbers of coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

The health network is canceling all elective surgeries and procedures, including elective cardiac procedure, through the end of January. The hospital will continue providing emergency surgical care and monitor availability to continue normal operations in the future.

Mount Nittany Medical Center previously canceled elective surgeries through January 11.

The hospital is currently treating 60 coronavirus-positive inpatients aged between 29 and 100 years old. It’s already admitted 239 virus-positive patients in December — a sharp increase from 143 total hospitalizations in November.

“Our local trends continue to be alarming,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nirmal Joshi said. “It is important to be clear that the continued high number of COVID cases in the community means we cannot provide our normal range of services.”

Throughout December, the hospital has treated an average of 48 virus-positive patients per day. But following a quick rise in cases, the daily average has jumped to 57 inpatients per day in just the last seven days.

“We are doing everything that we can to preserve as many services as possible, but like every other hospital and healthcare system, there are limits,” Joshi said.

Joshi implored community members to remain vigilant throughout the holiday weekend by wearing masks in public, washing hands frequently, and maintaining social distance when necessary.

Since reporting its first positive in March, Centre County has recorded 8,910 coronavirus cases. More than half of those — 4,593 — have been reported in November and December.

Mount Nittany Health received an initial shipment of the Pfizer BioNTech coronavirus vaccine two weeks ago and administered it to more than 1,200 staffers. This week, it received 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and will continue vaccinating staffers and local health care workers.

“It is uncertain when vaccines will be available to the general public, so please remain vigilant by consistently wearing a mask, frequent hand washing and maintaining social distance,” Joshi said. “These measures are especially important during the New Year holiday as we continue to see an alarming rise in COVID cases and subsequent hospitalizations.”

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

By day, Matt is a senior majoring in journalism. By night, he's Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football lover, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.


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