Tower Health is recognizing two years of COVID-19 in the community. "Even before COVID-19 was officially identified in the US, our clinical and administrative teams at Tower Health were mobilizing to prepare for the arrival of the virus in our communities," said P. Sue Perrotty, Tower Health President and CEO.
"Still, the impact of the virus was more than we could have imagined. Our employees, and all healthcare workers, have given their all since the very beginning. Their dedication and commitment to patients, the community, and one another has been awe-inspiring. We enter the third year of the pandemic with a better understanding of the disease, effective vaccines that prevent hospitalizations and death, and greatly reduced cases. For this we are thankful. I hope the entire community will join me in thanking all Tower Health employees for their hard work in keeping our community safe. I also extend my heartfelt sympathies to all those that have experienced the loss of a loved one as a result of COVID-19."
A look at some key statistics helps to illustrate the impact of the pandemic.
|March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021||March 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022|
|COVID-19 patients discharged from Tower Health hospitals||4,807||5,304|
|COVID-19 mortalities at Tower Health hospitals||754||515|
|Average length of stay of COVID-19 patients at Tower Health hospitals||9.07 days||8.61 days|
|Suspected COVID-19 patients at Tower Health Urgent Cares (THUC)||80,592
(39% of total THUC visits)
(48% of total THUC visits)
|COVID-19 tests performed at THUC locations||85,091||178,232|
Debra Powell, MD, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and Medical Director, Infection Prevention, said, "We’ve learned a lot about COVID-19 since it first arrived, including clear evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. We know it helps to prevent serious illness and hospitalizations and discourages the spread and mutation of the virus. Even though cases have diminished in our community and the United States, the virus continues to impact communities around the world. It is not gone. I continue to encourage anyone eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster dose as appropriate." Visit Vaccines.gov to find a location for the COVID-19 vaccine and booster.
Tower Health recently updated guidance for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, for employees, patients, and visitors. These updates reflect recent changes in recommendations from the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health. Per their guidance, masking is still required in healthcare settings.
Current Tower Health masking guidelines include:
- All staff, patients, and visitors must wear a well-fitting face mask, covering mouth and nose, while in any Tower Health facility, except when contraindicated or for patients under two years old.
- Admitted patients are encouraged to wear masks when in their room unless they are clinically unable to do so.
- Cloth masks are no longer permitted/recommended. Staff, patients, and visitors should wear a procedure mask when in the healthcare setting.
"It is encouraging to see cases continue to decrease at our hospitals and across the country," said Ms. Perrotty. "But I encourage the community to continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC, PA Department of Health, and their local healthcare institutions. These organizations are working together to keep patients and communities healthy and safe."
About Tower Health
Tower Health is a regional integrated healthcare system that offers leading-edge, compassionate healthcare and wellness services to communities in Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. With nearly 12,000 team members, Tower Health consists of Reading Hospital in West Reading; Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia; Phoenixville Hospital in Phoenixville; Pottstown Hospital in Pottstown; and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, a partnership of Tower Health and Drexel University in Philadelphia. It also includes Reading Hospital Rehabilitation at Wyomissing; Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences in West Reading; home healthcare provided by Tower Health at Home; TowerDirect ambulance and emergency response; Tower Health Medical Group; and a network of 25 urgent care facilities across the Tower Health service area. For more information, visit http://towerhealth.org.