Some local hospitals are entering difficult territory as it relates to their ICU bed capacity.
Over the last two weeks there has been increased focus on rates of hospitalization connected to COVID-19. In fact, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that if any region is on track to reach 90% capacity of its hospital beds – NY on PAUSE would be enacted. He also warned that a full-shutdown could be coming to the state after January 1st if the state doesn’t reverse the trend of increased hospitalizations.
On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo said that the Finger Lakes and Central New York led the state in hospitalizations and positivity rate.
He called on hospitals to switch to ‘crisis management mode’ and begin working together. At one point during his press conference – the Governor even threatened hospital licenses if necessary.
“You have to operate as a system. Start to transfer. Form an agreement with a neighboring hospital system,” Cuomo said, placing am emphasis on load balancing. The focus is on overall hospital beds, but ICU bed availability is also a major concern.
A database published by the New York Times shows updated ICU occupancy at individual facilities. The data shows a wide-range in occupancy rates.
For example, in Ontario County – Geneva General Hospital and Clifton Springs Hospital are at 42% and 41% respectively. Meaning they have nearly 60% of their beds available. However, F.F. Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua shows no ICU beds available and that it is 98% full.
Thompson Hospital is one of the only ones in Upstate New York that has an ICU occupancy of more than 90% at this time.
In Cayuga County, Auburn Community Hospital reports having 11 ICU beds available, and a total occupancy of 40% at this time. Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, which is located in Wayne County, has six available ICU beds an an ICU occupancy of 54%.
Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals, which are operated by URMC in Rochester both are hovering around 85% ICU occupancy at this time.
Economic restrictions, guided by the yellow, orange, and red zone classifications are being built on a regional basis. So, if one hospital ‘reaches’ capacity, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire region is destined to enter red zone.
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