Watch CBS News

COVID-19 In Westmoreland County: Medical Leaders Highlight Promising Statistics

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- There's some promising news when it comes to COVID-19 and the Omicron variant in Westmoreland County.

Excela Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Carol Fox said while it seems like this latest wave may have crested, people still need to get vaccinated. But after months of death and despair, Westmoreland County may be turning the corner on COVID-19's latest deadly assault.

"The total number of patients who are hospitalized is about half today what it was at the end of December for Excela," Fox said. "So that's really good news."

Dr. Fox said there are a lot of reasons for this. But what is the top reason?

"The Omicron variant, from what we were able to experience, was highly infectious. A lot of people got infected quickly," she said.

And more people are getting vaccinated.

"Having that vaccination is very, very beneficial for you," Fox said.

According to the state, Westmoreland County's vaccination rate, as of last Friday, shows 57.5 percent of residents are fully vaccinated and nearly 66 percent are partially vaccinated.

"I wouldn't risk rolling the dice and wait to get infected and develop immunity that you'll be in good shape because you don't know how sick you might become if you are infected," Fox said.

There is, however, one statistic that's much more than a bunch of numbers. As of Wednesday, Westmoreland County's COVID-19 cases totaled 73,423, with the virus taking 1,219 lives.

Dr. Fox said people should not take the positive trend as an all-clear regarding COVID-19. She said that false confidence could lead to another wave and potentially create conditions for another variant.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.