Dr. Michael Ripchinski, chief clinical officer, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, speaks at a media briefing at the county Public Safety Training Center on Thursday, July 30, 2020. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)
Dr. Michael Ripchinski, chief clinical officer, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, speaks at a media briefing at the county Public Safety Training Center on Thursday, July 30, 2020. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

The demographics of Covid-19 in Lancaster County are changing, Dr. Michael Ripchinski, chief clinical officer for Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, said during the county commissioners' media briefing on Thursday.

According to Ripchinski:

  • The average age of those testing positive has fallen from 52 to 45;
  • The average age of Covid-19 inpatients has dropped from 66 to 59.

 

Because the patients are younger, they are recovering more rapidly and requiring less intervention, Ripchinski said. LG Health is analyzing the trends, but has "no firm answer" on what's driving them, he said.

As of Thursday, LG Health has 15 Covid-19 inpatients, of whom three were in intensive care and 1 was on a ventilator. LGH has treated and discharged nearly 500 Covid-19 patients over the course of the pandemic, Ripchinski said.

Edwin Hurston, Lancaster County public health emergency adviser, speaks at a media briefing at the county Public Safety Training Center on Thursday, July 30, 2020. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

County sourcing PPE

Meanwhile, Edwin Hurston, the public health emergency adviser retained by the county, offered updates on its logistical support efforts:

  • The county has provided 10,566 Covid-19 tests to nursing home residents and staff. The county began the tests three weeks before the Department of Health made them mandatory; by doing so, the county avoided backlogs and finished ahead of schedule;
  • The Office of Aging is working with county nursing homes to calculate upcoming Personal Protective Equipment needs and avoid shortages;
  • The county purchasing department is working with The Jay Group and Clair Brothers to distribute PPE to public school districts over the next two weeks.
Tim Stuhldreher