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PHC4 Releases COVID-19 Hospitalization Data Including County Rates and Mortality and Length of Stay Findings

Harrisburg, PA – January 27, 2021 – PHC4 has released COVID-19 hospitalization data for the four-month period March through June 30, 2020. During those months, there were 19,177 COVID-19 hospitalizations in Pennsylvania. These patients spent a total of 168,511 days in the hospital. The average length of stay was 8.8 days. About 1 in 6 (16.3%) died during their hospital stay.

“Results from today’s release reflect the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and will form a basis for continued analysis and comparison as subsequent data becomes available,” said Joe Martin, PHC4’s Executive Director. “PHC4’s hospital admission data will be an important resource as health researchers and health care professionals grapple with the important pandemic-related questions facing the Commonwealth,” added Martin.

According to the brief, over half (52.6%) of COVID-19 hospitalizations were for patients 65 years and older; 1% of the patients were under age 18.

In-hospital mortality rates were higher for older patients, especially ages 65 and older; male patients; White, non-Hispanic patients; and patients living in low poverty areas (where less than 10% of the population lives in poverty).

The average length of stay was longer for patients age 55 to 74 years; male patients; and Black, non-Hispanic patients.

Almost 16% of the patients required mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation rates were higher for patients age 55 to 74 years; male patients; Asian, non-Hispanic patients; and Black, non-Hispanic patients.

Statewide, there were 14.5 COVID-19 hospitalizations per 10,000 Pennsylvania residents from March to June 2020. Hospitalization rates were higher for older residents, especially ages 55 and older; male residents; Hispanic residents; Black, non-Hispanic residents; and residents living in high poverty areas (where 25% or more of the population lives in poverty).

County-specific hospitalization rates are also included in the brief. The county data shows that, during these early months of the pandemic, hospitalization rates were higher in eastern Pennsylvania counties.

When comparing COVID-19 hospitalizations to influenza (flu) hospitalizations, the brief findings note the following:

  • At 19,177, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations during the four months from March to June 2020 was 49.4% higher than the average annual number of influenza hospital stays from 2017 to 2020 (12,839).
  • The in-hospital mortality rate for COVID-19 hospitalizations (16.3%) was 459.7% higher than the average in-hospital mortality rate for influenza hospital stays from 2017 to 2020 (2.9%).

The research brief is available on PHC4’s website at You can also link to this information through social media on Facebook and Twitter.

PHC4 is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care in Pennsylvania.

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