When COVID patients fill hospitals to capacity; when staff shortages are everywhere, where does Delaware County turn?
To itself, writes Dann Cuellar and Bryanna Gallagher for 6ABC.
Some of the county’s 1,700 active volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps are now providing extra help to an exhausted staff at four county hospitals: Crozer Chester Medical Center in Chester, Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Yeadon, and Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park.
The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that more than 100 regular staff at the four hospitals have gotten sick from the virus. Meanwhile, 140 patients are currently hospitalized with COVID, according to Gary Zimmer, chief medical officer of Crozer Health.
COVID patients now take up about a third of the normal business for those hospitals.
“At Crozer Chester Emergency Department most beds are occupied with patients waiting to go upstairs to regular beds or ICU beds. Just being able to get people through and out of the hospital has been incredibly challenging,” Zimmer explained.
Zimmer said the Corps has been “an extraordinary help” keeping hospitals on top of the basics.
“Keeping things on the shelves, keeping things moving… just bringing a glass of water,” Zimmer said.
Since early January, MRC volunteers have put in over 850 hours in 217 shifts.
A lot of what they’ve been doing, quite frankly, is supporting people and just letting them know they’re not forgotten,” said Danielle Koerner, community outreach coordinator with the county’s Department of Emergency Services.
How you can help
- If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Delaware County Medical Reserve Corps, you can find more information here.
- If you want a COVID-19 test, don’t go to a hospital emergency room. Click here for Delaware County testing and COVID information.
- A separate regional drive-thru COVID testing site open seven days a week has been set up by the Pennsylvania Department of Health out of the Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital parking lot in Yeadon. It is open now, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. serving Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and Schuylkill counties. Pre-registration is encouraged. Find out more here.
Read more at 6abc.com about how Delaware County is coping with high COVID-19 cases.