12.24.2020 - COVID-19 Update from Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center

December 24, 2020

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center (“Memorial”) has established a regular update to share information with the public related to COVID-19, including the status of hospital operations and the safety measures we are taking to protect our patients, staff and community.

This week, Dr. Elizabeth Dunmore, Memorial’s Chief Medical Officer, shares an update about COVID-19 cases at the hospital and COVID vaccination administration, as well as recommendations for caring for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.

As of 12.24.2020:

As reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, cases of COVID-19 have increased in Cambria County in recent weeks, and with the documented increase in confirmed positive cases, hospitals in our region, including Memorial, have seen an expected increase in hospitalizations.

Currently, Memorial is treating more than 70 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in our hospital; even though this is a decrease from our last update, this number is very fluid and can increase rapidly.  

We have seen an increase in critical care and ventilator-dependent patients the last few weeks. To serve the needs of the community, we have opened additional medical bed areas.  We continue to plan for continued surges in COVID-19 cases.

Conemaugh Health System has received an initial allocation of COVID-19 vaccines, and we are distributing them in accordance with prioritization guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal government and our state. Vaccine administration began with our Frontline Healthcare workers and patient-facing clinical staff members. We have already administered 500 doses to date at Memorial Medical Center. Our clinicians have been very appreciative to receive the vaccine. We anticipate additional allocation of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and hope to receive those soon. 

Once the vaccine becomes more broadly available, we strongly encourage our community to get vaccinated.

Taking Care of Yourself While You Take Care of Loved Ones with COVID-19

Many individuals in our communities are serving as caregivers for people in their households who have tested positive for COVID-19. When caring for your loved ones who have COVID-19, remember to stay socially distanced as much as possible, wear your mask or face covering when around them, and thoroughly and frequently wash your hands. If possible, have individuals with COVID-19 use a separate bedroom and bathroom. Avoid bringing any visitors to your home, and if you can quarantine along with them to help prevent the spread. If you know individuals with COVID-19 who are not in your household, offer to help them get their groceries, prescriptions or holiday shopping. You could also consider taking them a nice home cooked meal or even take care of their pets!

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center reminds the public to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask or face covering in public, in addition to practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene.

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center continues to take all the necessary precautions to protect our patients and staff from COVID-19, including limiting entry points to the facility, screening all individuals for symptoms of COVID-19, universal masking and maintaining a strict zero-visitation protocol.

For additional information about the hospital’s preparation and response to COVID-19, visit Conemaugh.org.