Montgomery County officials have joined with area hospital leadership to provide an update on the current COVID-19 surge, and they are reporting their hospital systems are strained due to the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
During a virtual briefing, leaders stressed that residents should not come to the emergency room for COVID-19 testing, only for medical emergencies.
“Supporting our hospitals and frontline healthcare workers has been a priority since the first days of this pandemic. We continue to meet regularly with our hospitals to make sure we are doing everything we can to support them during this current surge,” said Val Arkoosh, MD, MPH, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
“One of the most important ways we have stepped up to support our community and our hospitals is by quickly expanding the County’s PCR testing capacity. Last week we added 1,500 new weekly appointments at our five community testing sites to better serve our residents. In total, we have added 6,000 appointments in the month of January. With more testing available in our community, we want to remind our residents not to go to the emergency room for COVID-19 testing but do not hesitate to go for a medical emergency,” she said.
“Like other organizations here in Montgomery County and throughout the region, our emergency department remains very busy. However, it is important for the community to know that we are here and ready to provide emergency care to those in need,” said Beth Duffy, President and Chief Operating Officer for Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, now part of Jefferson Health. “We continue to urge the public not to visit the emergency room for COVID tests but rather to utilize the expanded testing sites throughout the county.”
“We have been and continue to collaborate with local EMS and our fellow health and hospital systems in the county to ensure patients are receiving the emergency and inpatient hospital care they need,” said Michael Laign, President and CEO of Redeemer Health. “We encourage everyone in the community to do their part by wearing a mask, getting vaccinated and getting a booster when eligible.”
“Everyone at Pottstown Hospital, and at all the hospitals in the County, are working extremely hard and with tremendous dedication to caring for our patients and the community under very difficult circumstances,” said Rich Newell, President and CEO of Phoenixville and Pottstown Hospitals “The public can support their healthcare teams by 1) getting vaccinated (and boosted) against COVID, 2) wearing masks and social distancing as appropriate, and 3) being patient and encouraging of our first responders and caregivers who are working so hard on the public’s behalf.”
“We continue to not only thank our team on the front lines at Main Line Health but also our healthcare workers throughout the entire region. We ask that the public continues to thank the region’s healthcare heroes for their steadfast dedication and strength during the last two years and this current surge which is the largest we have ever seen,” said Jonathan Stallkamp, MD, Chief Medical Officer with Main Line Health. “One of the best forms of gratitude the public can show to these heroes is by getting vaccinated and boosted. Vaccination is still key to preventing hospitalization and death.”
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to avoid serious illness and hospitalization.
The Montgomery County Office of Public Health continues to operate four sites that offer the vaccine at no charge. All eligible Montgomery County residents are urged to get a booster dose as soon as they are eligible.
Residents can also visit here for a list of all vaccine providers.