Spikes in COVID cases drive Canandaigua hospital over capacity, forcing temporary diversions


CANANDAIGUA, NY (WROC) — We reported last night on a local hospital having to divert patients because they simply didn’t have the resources to care for them. Particularly at this point when the hospital went to send the patients elsewhere, they said no hospital could take them in.  

Strong Memorial Hospital, Administration reports no clinical care on their end is being impacted by any staff shortages. But for FF Thompson however, it’s a much harder battle with resources and staff not as large.  

The administration of FF Thompson told us Morale is still high But the staff faces a lot of challenges with Covid cases and low vaccine rates driving them over capacity limits. Forcing them to adjust how they take people in.  

“We had four ICU boarders in the ED along with double-digit surge boarders waiting for beds,” UR Thompson CEO Michael Stapleton told us. “And our total ED volume was well over 40. We only have 24 beds, so it was a simple matter of the volume there at the time.”  

This led the Administration twice last week to ask its local EMS partner to divert incoming patients to other facilities only if their situation could handle the extra wait time. But when they tried to transfer four extra patients overflowing the ICU no beds were available in Western New York.  

“All the ICU beds were full,” Stapleton continued. “There were no ICU beds. We called Buffalo, Syracuse, all over Western New York looking for ICU beds and there weren’t any at that given time. That’s not something we want to do taking care of 16 ICU patients when we can only handle 12.”  

Stapleton is concerned this upward trend in COVID cases will only surge more through the holidays. Both Per-Capita and in positive cases, the finger lakes region’s seven-day average is more than double this time in 2020. Forcing nursing homes to cut off from taking in new residents from hospital tributes to the backup. 

“We’re sending out nursing home applications 100 miles away,” Stapleton said. “We’re actually trying to get a patient right now to New York City because that’s the only bed availability that we got.” 

During all this FF Thompson assured they are not turning away any patient who shows up with a life-threatening emergency both by private vehicle and someone who comes through EMS. They also have moved current part-time employees up to working up to 35 hours a week to accommodate vacancies.  

Of the 24 Covid positive Patients in Thompson’s Care, Stapleton reported 17 of them were unvaccinated and in need of serious care. While those who were vaccinated recovered in less than a week. All the more reason to get the shot. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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