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Upstate University Hospital says it’s full: What’s next for region?

Hospitals across the state and U.S. risk exceeding capacity if the surge of COVID-19 cases being reported across the board does not slow or stop.

There’s concern locally with one hospital, as it sounds an alarm in Central New York.

“We cannot mess around right now,” Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon warned. “We need to be smart going into New Year’s. It all falls apart if we can’t take care of our sick. We can’t let things get more strained.”

For example, Upstate University Hospital is full. “Despite our best effort to expand the capacity and get more people to staff the beds, we now are at the point where we are full,” said Dr. Robert Corona. He’s had concerns about staffing issues at the hospital for weeks.

“Locking down the economy when about 15% of the cases maybe even less are related to economic activity, that’s not going to solve the problem. if it’s your only tool you have available because you can’t treat your sick people because there’s too many sick people for staff, then it’s your only tool available,” McMahon added to CNYCentral, speaking to the prospect of further economic restrictions.

But Central New York is not alone.

“We have a big problem,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, told The Washington Post. He was speaking to the country’s problem as it navigates the second part of the cold season. “Look at the numbers — the numbers are really quite dramatic.”

Some have wondered why Governor Andrew Cuomo has not mentioned Upstate’s capacity dilemma at any press briefing.  He had previously said that there were no hospitals within three weeks of hitting 90% capacity, which would trigger regional action – including possible shutdown.