Non-critical patients being diverted to hospital 60 minutes away in Steuben County due to capacity issues

Saint James Mercy Hospital in Hornell is at capacity.

The Hornell Fire Department reports that its a temporary diversion, so non-critical patients are being taken to the nearest accepting facility.

How far away could that be? Upwards of 60 minutes, as it turns out.

“Due to temporary capacity limitations, please be aware that our ambulances are currently being diverted away from St. James Hospital in Hornell. This means that NON-CRITICAL patients will be transported to the next nearest accepting facility. This may be over 60 miles away,” the Hornell Fire Department wrote on Facebook. “Please, however, do not hesitate to DIAL 911 IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY. Critical patients will not be affected.”

The Steuben County Health Department shared their own message after that announcement.

“Local hospitals are full and are seeing huge numbers in the Emergency Departments (some for non-emergency concerns), which poses a problem for those who truly are experiencing medical emergencies. Please assess your situation and contact your doctor’s office or consider going to a walk-in or urgent care before going to a local hospital if it is not a medical emergency,” officials said. “COVID is continuing to send many to the hospital, but there are also non-COVID medical needs that require hospitalization. We want to make sure patient care is maintained at a high level and that those who are truly needing hospital care are able to get it.”

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