Approximately 80% of Covid-positive patients currently in 11 St. Luke’s University Health Network hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey were admitted because of Covid, according to an analysis by the Network.
The data contradicts the recent public narrative that most hospitalized Covid inpatients tested positive for the coronavirus incidentally only after being admitted to the hospital for other reasons.
“We want to set the record straight,” said Jeffrey Jahre, MD, St. Luke’s Senior Vice President of Medical & Academic Affairs and Section Chief Emeritus of Infectious Diseases. “St. Luke’s as a national leader in Covid care took the initiative to study this issue and share its findings with the public that the Omicron variant is indeed a serious health threat. It is putting an enormous strain on country’s public health infrastructure and is disrupting life throughout the nation.”
This week Massachusetts required its hospitals to differentiate between patients they admit primarily for Covid and those admitted for something else but who ended up testing positive.
The idea is to give the public a better understanding of how many people are in the hospital because of the virus. But while that data began to be collected Monday, it won't be released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health until January 17.
Pennsylvania has not issued a similar directive. St. Luke’s performed the analysis on its own and is sharing the information as public service.
“When people are armed with the facts, real facts, they are more likely to take the appropriate steps to protect themselves and our community’s most vulnerable members,” Jahre said.
Currently, St. Luke’s has approximately 400 Covid-positive inpatients, including several dozen in the ICU. More than 1,800 Americans died of Covid yesterday.