Philly Sees Uptick in People Hospitalized for COVID-19; ‘Vast Majority' Unvaccinated

However, the city is vaccinating more and more of its population, a city official said Wednesday

An image from Zoom of Dr. Cheryl Bettigole

What to Know

  • Philadelphia is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations for the first time in months.
  • The "vast majority" of those hospitalized were unvaccinated, the city's acting health commissioner said.
  • The uptick has not led to shortages of ICU beds or ventilators.

For the first time in months, more than 200 people are in Philadelphia hospitals with cases of COVID-19, a city health official said Wednesday.

The "vast majority" of those hospitalized have not been vaccinated, said Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, the city's acting health commissioner, at a morning press conference.

Research shows that the COVID-19 vaccine protects most people against being infected with the disease and almost all people against serious infection.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia is vaccinating more and more people. By the end of this week, the city expects 80% of its eligible population will have gotten at least one shot of COVID vaccine, and 65% will be fully vaccinated, Bettigole said.

The increase in hospitalizations is not leading to a shortage of beds in hospitals; the city has more than 640 ICU beds staffed and ready to be used, and only 48 of the people hospitalized in the city are in the ICU, according to state data. Likewise, the city has plenty of ventilators available for use.

But the number of hospitalized in the city is the highest since late May and early June, reversing a trend that had been in place all summer.

Philadelphia has reported more than 164,000 cases of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. There have been 3,813 deaths in the city.

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