Geisinger CEO: Nursing home patients making up only 10 percent of COVID-19 hospital rates

You can hear Dr. Ryu’s full media briefing here. 

DANVILLE—Geisinger President and CEO Dr. Jaewon Ryu addressed some myths related to COVID-19 in a recent media briefing. Dr. Ryu says the thought that the virus is mostly affecting the nursing home population is not true, “Our nursing home population is really only making up about 10 to 15 percent of those that we have admitted in our hospitals. That means 85 to 90 percent of the patients we have with COVID-positive in our hospitals are not nursing home patients.”

Dr. Ryu says he also wants to debunk the myth that coronavirus only affects those who are 65 years or old, or those who have a chronic disease, “About two-thirds of our patients are over the age of 65, but that means a solid one-third are younger than 65 and believe it or not, half of them are younger than 55. So, it gives you a sense of that fact that people are young and sometimes don’t have any chronic diseases, and yet can get very, very ill from this virus.”

Dr. Ryu also says they are seeing a trend among younger generations that is correlating directly to the increased positivity rates, “People in their 20s, 30s, and 50s are contributing to the highest jump in testing rate. We’re seeing the 20s and 30s, of course again, this population, they are at lower risk for needing hospitalization but they rapidly comprise a larger and larger share of who is testing positive.”

Dr. Ryu says that not following the recommended precautions will only continue community spread. He encouraged the community to follow protocols and restrictions that are in place and says they are necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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