ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and health officials in the community announced the detailed of the “Surge Capacity Plan” for local hospitals on Friday.
Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo required all hospitals in New York State to increase their capacity by 50% with a goal of 100% in preparation for cases to worsen. The four part plan announced on Friday details how the community hospitals are responding.
The phases for the plan are as follow:
- Phase one: Turn over beds that are currently available and delay all non-urgent surgeries
- Phase two: Turn hospital overflow or ambulatory clinics into spaces able to provide patient care
- Phase three: Expand into non tradition spaces, converting space like hallways into patient care rooms, doubling up non COVID-19 patients who are currently in private rooms
- Phase four: Creating a field hospital
Official said on Friday that Monroe County is well into phase one. “If we can manage to stay home, if we can manage to limit only the essentials going to work, very frankly we might not even have to go into phase two and that’s what we hope,” Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said.
There are currently, 1,964 beds and this plan would increase that to 4,044 bed. Rochester Regional Health would increase by 109% and UR Medicine by 103%.
Strong Memorial hospital currently has 400 ventilators, Rochester Regional has about 240 ventilators, orders for additional ventilators are being filled.
“The public plays a huge role in what happens in the future this is not simply about capacity, it’s about demand of beds,” UR Medicine Chief Medical Officer Michael Apostolakos said.
“The more social distancing we practice, the more people who take the advice to stay home, it will save the hospital’s capacity and enable us to care for everyone and reduce mortality. It truly is a life and death situation for everyone in the community to take seriously.”
Health officials said that the main concern is not with capacity, but with the staff available to take care of the patients infected with the coronavirus.
“Phase one and two we feel very confident that we would be able to manage. Phase three and phase four will require addition resources to manage and staff,” Chief Operating Office at UR Medicine Kathleen Parrinello said. “Implementing phase three is a sign that our community health care system is on on the verge of being overwhelmed.”
According to Apostolakos, phase three is where they would need to call on retirees or other professionals that the state would provide, ” “Right now, we have space. I think our concern is with our staff, our workforce.”
Bello said they are looking at several sites to potentially host a field hospital, but they haven’t decided on any places yet.
What were looking at right now is a site that can hold 500 to 1,000 beds,” Bello said.
There are now 160 cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County, officials announced Friday morning.
Officials announced the fourth COVID-19 related death in Monroe County Thursday afternoon.
Of the 160 confirmed cases, 31 are hospitalized and 20 of those patients are receiving treatment in an Intensive Care Unit.
At this time, officials say there are 423 under mandatory quarantine. To date, 14 people have been resolved and released from isolation.
Department of health officials say deaths, and those who have resolved, will still be counted in the total case count.