York County COVID-19 hospitalizations down, but strike team's work continues

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch

Although COVID-19 transmissions and hospitalizations are plateauing in York County, local hospitals aren't prepared to return to normal operations just yet. 

York Hospital's COVID-19 hospitalizations are now at levels the hospital was seeing in October, during the delta surge. In December, WellSpan announced it was delaying all nonemergency procedures — a practice that continues to this day. 

WellSpan spokesperson Ryan Coyle said the health system still has a large number of patients admitted for COVID-19. That has meant certain procedures and non-life-threatening surgeries continue to be evaluated on a daily basis.

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When hospitalizations peaked for York Hospital in early January, a 23-person federal strike team arrived to assist with the demand. The team was originally scheduled to help for 30 days, but the timeline extended to early March when the demand for care continued. Coyle said the extended schedule remains in place despite the dropping hospitalizations. 

"While we are pleased to see the trends in hospitalizations, the strike team is scheduled to continue and complete their additional 30 day deployment through the beginning of March," Coyle said in a written comment Monday. 

The county recorded 268 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths Monday, according to the state Department of Health. Since the pandemic began, the county's seen 115,818 cases and 1,401 deaths.

Hospitalizations are steadily declining across York County. According to the state Department of Health, county hospitals had a  total of 122 COVID-19 patients as of Monday, up two from Sunday. Of those patients, 29 adults were in the ICU, and 23 were on ventilators.

As of Sunday, WellSpan Health had 309 COVID-19 patients across all facilities, while York Hospital had 122 of those patients. The health system has seen COVID-19 hospitalizations drop dramatically over the last two weeks after peaking at more than 500 patients in mid-January.

Only about 54% of York County residents are fully vaccinated, according to the state. That figure is 75% statewide.

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York County has the second-highest daily cases per capita among its neighboring counties, with 61 daily cases per 100,000 people, according to The New York Times. Adams County is slightly higher with 62 cases per capita. 

However, York County is seeing a decreasing rate of new cases, at a level slightly above its immediate neighbors.

  • York County: 66% decrease in cases over the last 14 days
  • Lancaster County: 57% decrease in cases over the last 14 days
  • Adams County: 61% decrease in cases over the last 14 days
  • Cumberland County: 63% decrease in cases over the last 14 days
  • Dauphin County: 61% decrease in cases over the last 14 days
  • Philadelphia: 69% decrease in cases over the last 14 days
  • New York City: 77% decrease in cases over the last 14 days

Across Pennsylvania, the state has recorded 2,707,891 total COVID-19 cases and 41,585 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the state Department of Health. 

Schools:  York County's 16 public school districts added 102 new cases Monday, bringing the total for the 2021-2022 school year to 9,218. 

Local districts are finally seeing daily cases level out to match numbers they were seeing in the fall. However, it's worth noting that the COVID-19 transmissions schools were seeing in the fall were still higher than anything districts saw last school year. 

Schools have already more than tripled the total number of cases recorded throughout all of the previous school year. With the potential for new variants on the horizon, it is impossible to say how many cases York County schools will log by the end of the school year.

You can keep track of your district's recorded cases for the 2021-2022 school year here. We will continue to update on a daily basis as numbers change.