Montco commissioner says they’re seeing rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh Thursday said officials are seeing a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

She said there are about 250 people in county hospitals with the disease, an uptick of approximately 40 patients compared to three days ago. 

Arkoosh said she can’t read too much into the hospitalizations since it’s only a couple days, but she notes hospitalizations lag infections.

“What we’re seeing in hospitalizations today probably represents activity from two to three weeks ago potentially,” she said. 

She added there’s the possibility that it coincides with when people started relaxing social distancing.

“That is when we started to see people spontaneously deciding it was time to move into the “yellow phase.” And being a little more mobile, maybe being a little less mindful of social distancing and some of these other pieces of good advice,” Arkoosh said.

She expects an uptick in the “yellow phase,” and if people are careless it could be more steep.

She believes the county is still on pace to move to “yellow” next Friday despite an increase in cases, as she points to things like an increase in testing capability and contact tracing, along with the availability of hospital beds.

Pennsylvania now has 70,042 positive cases and 5,373 fatalities.