The workforce crunch at skilled nursing homes and personal care facilities in Pennsylvania is having a spillover effect on hospitals, which are under strain from a 55% increase in COVID-19 patients since mid-November.
Geisinger is running at 110% capacity across its nine hospitals — overrun with largely unvaccinated COVID-19 patients who represent a quarter to well over half of all admissions.
The coronavirus pandemic arrived in Pennsylvania on March 6, 2020. A year later, the state has dealt with loss and frustration. With new vaccines, hope has returned.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System said that its Chester County Hospital ran a “lottery system” for family members of employees who met the state’s vaccine eligibility requirements.
Geisinger Health Systems allowed employees' family members to skip the COVID-19 vaccine line, raising questions of fairness at a time of strong public demand and scarce supply.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said that 1,205 front-line workers had been vaccinated by Thursday morning, and none of them reported any negative side effects.
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