New York hospitals must prepare for coronavirus outbreak

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New York State hospitals have been ordered to increase capacity and prepare for staff shortage as public health officials prepare for the coronavirus outbreak in the United States for accelerate even more after the Thanksgiving holidays.

Declaring the state was entering “a new phase in the war on Covid,” Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced the hospital’s measures as part of a five-point plan to try to contain the coronavirus during the winter, until there can be a mass vaccine distribution – maybe spring or summer, he predicted.

If necessary, the state would impose another general “pause” on all businesses except essential businesses, as it did deep in the first wave of the pandemic, he said. In the meantime, Mr Cuomo has said he hopes for a more targeted approach guided by an increase in testing – for example, allowing New York to keep public schools open as long as infections remain low there.

Like other states in the United States, New York has seen a resurgence in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, prompting officials to start reimposing some of the social and trade restrictions put in place in the early months of the pandemic. to try to contain the spread.

The United States reported 134,184 cases of Covid-19 and 801 deaths on Sunday, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project. Over the past week, the country has recorded an average of 158,468 infections and 1,438 deaths per day. Hospitalizations reached a new record of 93,219 people.

Since the beginning of November, the United States has recorded more than 4 million cases of coronavirus – almost a third of the 13 million cases since the virus began circulating. California and Texas – the most populous U.S. states – both passed 1 million cases this month.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday that hospitalizations in his state were set to double or even triple within the next month, without any significant intervention. Statewide demand for hospital intensive care beds is expected to exceed supply by Christmas Eve.

If trends persist, Newsom warned, tighter restrictions may soon be imposed.

There are 8,578 people currently in California hospitals with Covid-19, according to state data on Monday, up from just over 3,200 at the end of October.

Public officials have been particularly alarmed that millions of people have traveled by air or road over the past week to celebrate Thanksgiving, despite warnings that it could accelerate the spread of the disease.

The Transportation Security Administration screened 1.18 million passengers at U.S. airports on Sunday – the last day of Thanksgiving weekend – the busiest travel day since March. However, projections were still down 59 percent from the same day last year.

In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease expert and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said he expected the United States to United can see a “surge superimposed on the wave in which we are already”. over the next few weeks.

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“It’s going to get worse over the next few weeks, but the actions we take in the next few days will determine how serious it is,” Jerome Adams, the US surgeon general, told Fox News on Sunday.

While public health restrictions have proven effective in reducing infections in bars and restaurants, small social gatherings in private homes were now the “main vector of spread,” according to Cuomo, accounting for 65% of newcomers. case in his State.

“It’s a nationwide problem,” the governor said.

The growing workload threatens to once again overwhelm state hospitals, which were strained during the first months of the pandemic. The number of hospitalizations in New York City rose from 891 on June 29 to 3,532 as of Sunday.

“We are now worried about overwhelming the hospital system,” the governor said.

New York hospitals will have to plan for a 50% increase in beds. They also need to reach out to retired doctors and nurses and start transferring patients through their systems to share the load. Elective surgeries will be canceled in Erie County, where hospitals are already under pressure, starting Friday, and may soon be canceled in other parts of the state as well.

Mr Cuomo said the state is already suffering from a shortage of doctors and nurses. Many are exhausted after the first wave of the pandemic.

New York benefited from reinforcements from across the country earlier in the year. This may no longer be possible with the outbreak of cases in virtually every region, including less populous states like North and South Dakota.

“It can’t happen when disease is everywhere. So I don’t know where we’re going to get extra staff from, ”said Dr. Eric Toner, a senior researcher at Johns Hopkins University, who conducted an extensive study of the New York pandemic experience.

Dr Toner said New York and other states should increasingly expand the responsibilities of nurses and technicians to cope. “But,” he added, “there are things you just can’t replace, especially respiratory therapists. You can’t just do a respiratory therapist on the fly.

Mr Cuomo predicted that cases would increase in New York at least until mid-January before stabilizing. As the world waits for a vaccine, the governor pledged to learn from the state’s mistakes during the first wave of the pandemic.

“We lived this nightmare, we learned from this nightmare,” he says.

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