PENNSYLVANIA'S #1 WEEKLY NEWSPAPER • locally owned since 1854

Hershey Medical Center's number of coronavirus patients reaches new high


Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is treating the most coronavirus patients it has had since it started reporting numbers March 30 — 25, up from 19 on Friday, the last day totals were reported.

Less than two weeks ago, on May 14, the total was down to 6, its lowest point so far. But it’s increased steadily since then. The previous high was 22 on April 9.

It is reporting 5 deaths, the same as Friday.

Of the 25 coronavirus cases now at Hershey Medical Center, 5 are in intensive care, 2 fewer than Friday. Four coronavirus patients are on a ventilator, 1 more than Friday.

The center has 7 patients under investigation for the coronavirus, 5 fewer than Friday. It has discharged 111 coronavirus patients it has treated, 2 more than Friday.

It has completed 7.276 tests, 570 more than Friday, with 93 percent negative and 7 percent positive overall.

On Friday, for the second time, Hershey Medical Center reported its fifth death. On May 14, Penn State Health had reduced the number of coronavirus deaths in patients it has treated at Hershey Medical Center from 5 to 4.

Hershey Medical Center had reported its 5th coronavirus death May 12, a day after reporting its 4th.

It reported its third death of a coronavirus patient May 6. A Penn State Health spokesman told the Press & Journal that he is unable to offer any additional details regarding specific patient cases or information about the deaths.

On April 25, the center reported its second death of a patient related to the coronavirus. The first Hershey Medical Center patient died from the coronavirus March 27. No details about the first two deaths were released either.

It is unclear which death is no longer considered related to the coronavirus.

Penn State Health’s dashboard provides numbers for its two hospitals — Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Health St. Joseph in Reading.

The numbers reported on the dashboard include two types of patients being cared for: patients with a confirmed positive test for COVID-19 and patients who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but do not yet have a confirmed positive test. Those patients are referred to as patients under investigation.

St. Joseph has 14 patients being treated, 3 more than Friday, and 3 under investigation, 3 fewer than Friday. It has discharged 100 COVID-19 patients total, 5 more than Friday. It has reported its 24 deaths, 4 more than Friday.

Of St. Joseph’s patients, 4 are in the ICU, 1 fewer than Friday, and 3 are on ventilators, 1 fewer than Friday.

In comparison to Hershey Medical Center’s high percentage of negative tests, St. Joseph has seen different results. Out of its 5,505 tests, 70 percent have been negative with 30 percent positive.

Penn State Health announced March 21 that an employee at one of its outpatient practices on the campus of Hershey Medical Center had tested positive for COVID-19.

Penn State Health is accepting drop-off donations of key supplies from the community at Penn State Health Center, 175 Crystal A Drive, Hershey.

Hershey Medical Center is open to treat all patients. The hospital has suspended non-essential surgeries and testing, put in place a restricted visitation policy and “has an incident command structure up and running with operational leaders guiding the organization’s preparedness and response efforts.”

Penn State Health Medical Group is consolidating a number of its physician practices across the region and plans to close others until further notice in response to the evolving coronavirus pandemic. The Penn State Health Medical Group location at 3100 Schoolhouse Road in Londonderry Township remains open.