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COVID Update 1/18: BHS remains in phase 1A of vaccine distribution plan

January 18, 2021 News Extra

Butler Health System officials have confirmed they are still in Phase 1A of the state's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

“BHS is following the Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines,” said BHS spokeswoman Jana Panther. “At this time, only group 1A is eligible (to receive the vaccine).”

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health's COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, 5,742 county residents have received one dose of a vaccine, and 1,175 have received both doses. Both FDA-approved vaccines, produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, need two doses to be fully effective.

As part of the state's plans, which mirror those created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical professionals, both affiliated and unaffiliated with the health system, fall within Phase 1A. This could include doctors treating COVID-19 patients, dentists or chiropractors, among many other medical professions.

State Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said last week that Phase 1A continues and there was not a timeline for Phases 1B or 1C.

Panther said, as of Monday, BHS has not received further information on those phases.

“It is not known when group 1B or 1C will be declared eligible,” she said.

Those in Phase 1B, such as teachers, first responders and clergy, and Phase 1C, which includes public safety personnel, government employees and construction workers, will be able to schedule their vaccines through their doctors and specific pharmacies when distribution opens to their phase.

Phase 2 of the plans includes the general public and anyone 16 years of age or older.

Those interested in the phased approach of vaccine distribution can find information at www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus.

As vaccines continue to roll out, BHS hospitals continue to see hospitalized COVID-19 patients and continue testing efforts.

As of Monday, Butler Memorial Hospital was treating 31 COVID-19 inpatients, four more since its update Friday. Five of those patients were being treated in the intensive care unit.

Butler Memorial reported two deaths to the Department of Health on Saturday.

Clarion Hospital also reported one less COVID-19 inpatient with 12 patients Monday, three of whom were being treated in the ICU. Clarion reported one death on Saturday to the Department of Health.

BHS repeated its message of continued mitigation efforts, including wearing a mask, distancing 6 feet from others and avoiding gatherings.

Despite a quiet Monday from state officials, the Department of Health released its daily report on Monday, which showed 44 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in county residents.

The report also showed that zero residents were added to the county's death toll of 289. The lack of death Monday ended a 14-day streak that totaled 87 deaths in county residents.

Statewide, the report showed that 4,045 new confirmed cases were reported Monday, as well as the death of 80 residents.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 771,845 state residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 19,390 have died from the virus.

COVID-19 Regional Update

The following numbers on the coronavirus pandemic were compiled from regular news releases from the state Department of Health and Butler Health System.

COVID-19 statistics from Sunday and Monday are:

Butler County

Confirmed cases: 7,748

Probable cases: 4,009

Negative tests: 41,415

Deaths: 289

Butler Memorial Hospital

Inpatients: 31

Suspected: 0

Confirmed: 31

ICU: 5

Total tests: 35,738

Outdoor tests: 15,004

Positive tests: 2,326

Clarion Hospital

Inpatients: 12

Suspected: 4

Confirmed: 8

ICU: 3

Total tests: 11,026

Outdoor tests: 9,318

Positive tests: 1,742

Pennsylvania

New cases: 10,068

Total cases: 771,845

New deaths: 202

Total deaths: 19,390

Recovered: 77

Surrounding Counties

Allegheny: 51,719 confirmed cases; 323,240 negative; and 1,336 deaths

Armstrong: 3,433 confirmed cases; 13,204 negative; and 90 deaths

Beaver: 8,810 confirmed cases; 40,465 negative; and 294 deaths

Clarion: 1,547 confirmed cases; 6,699 negative; and 62 deaths

Lawrence: 3,933 confirmed cases; 15,927 negative; and 150 deaths

Mercer: 5,700 confirmed cases; 23,849 negative; and 193 deaths

Venango: 2,403 confirmed cases; 9,318 negative; and 64 deaths

Westmoreland: 169,43 confirmed cases; 78,188 negative; and 535 deaths.