Lehigh Valley could run out of ICU beds next week amid coronavirus surge

Written by on November 24, 2020

Lehigh Valley could run out of ICU beds next week amid coronavirus surge

By Jen Rehill

November 24, 2020

Image by Parentingupstream from Pixabay

The Lehigh Valley may run out of intensive care hospital beds as early as next week, as coronavirus cases continue to spike in the region.

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As of Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 24, there were just 16 adult ICU beds left in Lehigh and Northampton counties, according to the latest data from the state. The region’s total is more than 135.

The Lehigh Valley has seen more than 4,000 COVID infections in the last two weeks, and statewide models show new cases could triple in December.

Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says hospital beds are an area of significant concern.

“The northeast region is probably the most challenged in terms of bed availability, but we’re not anticipating any staffing shortages.” 

A Lehigh Valley Health Network spokesman says the number of patients admitted to their hospitals has nearly doubled in the last 10 days. They’re imploring residents to comply with masking and social distancing.

A spokesman from St. Luke’s says so far the impact has been “manageable” for the University Health Network. 

The Wolf administration is advising all Pennsylvanians to “avoid leaving their homes unless it is absolutely necessary” under a new stay-at-home advisory.

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