Hospital Hallway

NY Health Officials Urge Hospitals to Expand Capacity

New York health officials are moving forward with a plan meant to free up bed space in hospitals across the state amid a resurgent coronavirus pandemic that is affecting virtually every corner of the country.

The strategy is aimed at ensuring there are enough beds to handle an expected wave of patients through the middle of next month, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker wrote to hospital leaders in a letter sent on Wednesday. At its heart is ensuring New York’s hospitals are not overwhelmed during the upswing in COVID-19 cases.

“We are assuming a continued increase of hospitalizations throughout mid-January,” Zucker wrote in the letter. ‘Hospital capacity will be a major battle. We learned many lessons through the spring. Hospitals can now reasonably predict their expected demand by observing the infection rate increase and hospitalization rate increase in the zip codes in their area. The data is published daily. Unlike the surprise in the spring, we know when and where numbers will increase.”

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