Gov. Cuomo asking Rochester area hospitals to ‘balance their load’


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — In a Monday press briefing Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a mandate for hospital systems in the state regarding capacity. The mandate asks hospital systems to ‘balance their load’ – meaning they must distribute patients throughout their system, to make more capacity as COVID-19 cases rise.

The University of Rochester Medical Center was among those listed because it has several hospitals in its system.

“You must distribute the patients among your hospitals in your system, so one hospital doesn’t get overwhelmed,” said Gov. Cuomo.

If a hospital gets overwhelmed, and fails to balance their load, Gov. Cuomo says there will be consequences including a state investigation. “If they do not distribute the patients, that will be malpractice on their part,” he said.

In addition, Gov Cuomo says hospitals should plan on adding 50% bed capacity to their hospital.

“If you have 100 beds you go to 150, we did this last time it was highly effective. We brought a system of 50,000 to a system of 75,000,” he said.

URMC released in a statement today:

UR Medicine welcomes Gov. Cuomo’s winter action plan for COVID-19, and offers its support to sustain our community and state through the next few challenging weeks. The UR Medicine system has focused on a coordinated, system-wide response since the pandemic began, with all hospitals in regular contact to share resources and transfer patients within the system as needed. Since the second surge began in October, UR Medicine hospitals have been in daily contact to assess current and expected demands for COVID and non-COVID care at each hospital. This enables us to share resources, PPE supplies and testing capacity, and respond to patient needs across the region as a unified six-hospital system.     

News 8 reached out to Rochester Regional Health for a formal response to Gov. Cuomo’s mandates and is awaiting a response.

Click here to read Gov. Cuomo’s full five-point plan to targeting COVID-19 spread.

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