Coronavirus: New York, California worried about pressure on hospitals – as happened
Peter Wells in New York
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined his ‘winter plan’ to deal with the coronavirus over the next few months, including setting conditions that could potentially result in a repeat of a ‘hiatus’ in activity economy that the state undertook earlier this year.
Mr Cuomo said New York, and the United States more broadly, had entered a new and “new phase” in the spread of the coronavirus, including the onset of colder weather, government policies and change new behavior. Almost every state in the country has seen an increase in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths this month.
The governor revealed five main factors that would guide activities and crisis responses in New York State during the holiday season and winter months, with a particular focus on hospitals and recognition that many new cases of Covid-19 come from small gatherings of people, rather than bars or large events.
The data, including coronavirus hospitalization rates, death rates, and the capacity of hospital beds and staff, will now be added to the list of measures governing the state’s color-coding system to deal with Covid-19 micro-clusters.
Mr Cuomo said he was “worried” about overwhelming the hospital system and said hospitals should adopt plans to identify staffing shortages, balance patients across their networks and prepare to build field hospitals or to increase the bed capacity.
“We will have limited ability to bring resources from the upstate to the upstate like spring, or from the bottom of the state to the upstate, because literally every region is facing an increase now. “, he warned.
“We will add, in addition to yellow, orange, red [zones], an emergency stop provision where, if we encounter a real hospitalization crisis, we could potentially take a break in New York, ”Cuomo said, referring to his executive order last spring which banned many non-essential businesses. He added that California has also introduced an emergency break in recent weeks.
He added that it was possible to have additional restrictions in the orange and red zones before “hitting the pause button”. Authorities were awaiting data after the Thanksgiving holiday to determine relevant thresholds for hospitals.
Other elements of the governor’s winter plan included: testing, keeping schools open, the role of the spread of small gatherings and vaccination.
Mr Cuomo said about 65% of new Covid-19 cases were the result of small gatherings of people, unlike the spring and summer months when bars, restaurants and large events were responsible for the spread virus.