Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced the state’s plan for combating COVID-19 this winter. Over the past week, Cuomo and the state’s COVID Task Force has worked in consultation with global public health experts, local governments and other stakeholders to ensure that the plan builds off the lessons learned during the past nine months to anticipate and prepare for an expected increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations over the holiday season.
The winter plan consists of five targeted strategies focused on mitigating the spread of the virus and bolstering the state’s hospital preparedness including targeted micro-cluster strategies while managing hospital capacity to enhance and equalize care, operating an equitable and safe vaccination program, and more.
The Department of Health began to initiate emergency hospital measures to prepare the state’s hospital system for an expected surge in new admissions over the upcoming weeks. Specifically, these measures include: hospital systems must begin to identify retired nurses and doctors to bolster staff; hospital systems must begin balancing patient loads across their individual hospital facilities; prepare plans to utilize emergency field hospitals; prepare plans to increase hospital bed capacity by 50 percent and other measures.
Currently NYU Langone-Long Island has just under 50 COVID-19 positive patients, compared to a high of nearly 500 in the spring surge according to a hospital spokesperson.
“Last spring, NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island invested in converting non-clinical space into COVID patient-care areas, and we have kept that space in reserve,” Marc Adler, chief medical officer of NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island, said. “We’re well-prepared to meet any surge as well as adhering to the governor’s guidelines.”