NY hospitals ordered to grow capacity amid “double surge” of COVID-19

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Governor Cuomo announced new requirements for all hospitals in the state during yesterday’s daily press briefing.

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Each must increase available bed capacity by 25% and reserve an additional 25% for potential overflow.

Guthrie Cortland Medical Center is currently treating 12 coronavirus patients, leaving 38 staffed beds available, on top of an additional 19 that were set aside in a special COVID-19 unit last month.

Just under 300 are hospitalized across Central New York, accounting for about 74% of the region’s total hospital capacity.

If that number reaches 90% in the next three weeks, more restrictions could follow, such as the return to 25% capacity for indoor dining establishments.

“Right now, the data is showing us that the highest percent of hospitalization is actually upstate…which is an exact flip of where we were in the spring,” Cuomo said. “We’ve done a couple of things that are different than other states. In New York, the state sets all the policies and keeps numbers that are determinative of the policies.”

The governor also called on retired doctors and nurses who are able to consider returning to service.

Registrations will be renewed at no cost for any who complete a questionnaire through the volunteer portal set up by the state health department.

Dr. Anthony Fauci joined yesterday’s press briefing and called the current spike in nationwide COVID-19 cases a “double surge” he correlates with the extended holiday season.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert warned the worst is yet to come, but complimented New York’s handling of the crisis so far.

“It seems really sound, and you have a lot of backup contingencies, which I like so you’re not going to get caught shorthanded on this,” said Dr. Fauci. “We could start the seeing things get really get bad in the middle of January.”

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