Dr. Jamie Wright leans over a metal railing inside UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. She is wearing a white coat, black sweater and yellow face mask. The wall behind her is yellow.

Could the pandemic bring a baby boom to the Pittsburgh region? Early data is mixed.

Laurie Sloan and her husband have always known they wanted to have a big family. The stay-at-home mom, who is now pregnant with her fourth child, didn’t let the pandemic stop their plans. “We were stuck at home and hanging out together and it was kind of fun watching all the kids be close in age and play together,” she said. 

Sloan, who is now expecting a son in June, thought being pregnant during the pandemic would allow her to spend more time preparing for his arrival. “I thought by the time the baby was here, life would be back to normal,” she said. “That’s obviously not going to happen.”

For Sloan, pandemic pregnancy has been bittersweet.

Endocrinologist Dr. Monica Gomberg has seen a decline in patients in her private practice since the COVID-19 outbreak began in the U.S. (Photo by Kimberly Rowen/PublicSource)

Allegheny County’s independent medical providers are struggling to stay open, even as healthcare system braces for COVID-19 influx

Doctors at three independent offices told PublicSource that they are considering cutting back hours and staff — or have already done so. To comply with an order from Gov. Wolf to stop elective surgeries, some local providers have had to cut out some or all of their business. And many patients are canceling and delaying their appointments. While some patients have turned toward telemedicine, it still hasn't been enough to offset the lost revenue.

Thousands of patients in Pittsburgh region have turned to telemedicine due to coronavirus fears

As people in the Pittsburgh area are seeking advice about the coronavirus without exposing or being exposed to the virus, local hospitals have been seeing the number of patients seeking urgent care by video chat skyrocket in recent days, according to UPMC and Allegheny Health Network. Conversely, the number of patients seeking urgent care in person has fallen.