Wellspan Ephrata Community Hospital file photo

WellSpan Health plans to double its number of intensive care unit beds, adding about 160 across its multi-county system, it said this week.

Its Lancaster County one, WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, has 10 intensive care unit beds, so doubling that would be 20, according to the system.

A Harvard Global Health Institute analysis based on 2018 figures showed 98 intensive care unit beds in the Lancaster-area hospital market and estimated that 4,833 to 14,498 people would need ICU care if 20% to 60% of the adult population got COVID-19 over an 18-month period. The number of patients hospitalized in ICU at any given time would far exceed the number of beds normally available, so hospitals are working to increase their ICU beds during the crisis.

The nonprofit system also said that since mid-March, it has tested more than 8,000 people tested for COVID-19 using outdoor swab sites across five counties, and about 400 of those people have tested positive.