Geisinger president urges precautions

“We are seeing concerning trends,” said Dr. Jaewon Ryu, Geisinger president and CEO, in a press briefing. “The spread is pretty prevalent in our communities. It becomes even more critical to tackle all of the precautionary measures.”

Some of these trends include the positivity testing rate rising above 20 percent of those who are being tested daily, and now over 190 patients are admitted into Geisinger’s healthcare system.

“This thing is picking up steam…it is obviously very concerning,” he said.

This increase has even led to some challenges concerning hospital capacity, but Ryu said that Geisinger has been planning for a second wave since the first one in early spring.

Some of the protocols that Geisinger has put into place now include decreasing non-emergent procedures just slightly, by 10 percent.

All emergent procedures and procedures for patients who are in uncomfortable situations and needing care before delaying are still going strong, Ryu said.

“We need to make sure as a community that we are focusing on the protocols, not just at the hospital,” he continued.

He also said that popular belief is that the increase in cases is coming from local nursing homes, whereas 85 percent of those hospitalized from COVID-19 are from our own backyard.

“I am not sure there is a black and white,” he said.

With our environment changing to colder weather, activities moving indoors and larger gatherings of families for holidays, Ryu heavily urges community members to avoid large gatherings, continue to mask wherever you are and to use proper hand hygiene.

“Avoiding large gatherings is going to be absolutely critical,” he said. “I come to you as a member of the community. If we rally together as a community and focus on these efforts we will be in a better spot.”


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