With the Gettysburg Hospital remaining at over 100 percent capacity due to an influx of primarily unvaccinated COVID patients, many emergency room patients are being diverted to other regional hospitals.
“It is likely patients transported via EMS are redirected to other facilities that may have some capacity,” said Wellspan spokesperson Ryan Coyle.
“We ask our communities to remain vigilant in safety measures related to the pandemic. Most of all, we ask those eligible in our communities to get vaccinated. It is the most effective way to reduce hospitalizations resulting from COVID-19,” said Wellspan.
Coyle said patients might be sent to Wellspan York Hospital where a 23-person Department of Defense emergency team consisting of Air Force physicians, nurses, respiratory technicians, and team leaders are working alongside the regular hospital staff. Coyle said staff from general physician offices have also been called up to take additional shifts in hospitals to increase staffing needs for the surge of COVID-19 patients.
Coyle said the divert status meant it was recommended that EMS transport take patients to a different hospital, but that walk-ins to the emergency room would always be treated. Patients have the right to override a proposed diversion and ask to be taken to the hospital of their choice.
Featured image shows a U.S. Air Force medical response team attending training on how to check a patient’s blood sugar at Wellspan Education Center in York, Pennsylvania, Jan. 1, 2022. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the whole-of-government COVID response. [U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ashleigh Maxwell]