What there is to know
- Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a COVID-19 multi-strategy action plan to tackle the virus across New York state during the winter months – especially after the expected peak in cases after the holidays.
- During his press briefing on the coronavirus on Monday, the governor outlined the 5-strategy plan which will focus on the capacity of hospitals, testing, schools, the safety campaign and a comprehensive vaccination plan.
- “Today every region faces a hospital problem,” Cuomo said. Hospitalizations topped 3,500 over the weekend, an alarming volume not seen in New York since May.
Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a COVID-19 multi-strategy action plan to tackle the virus across New York state during the winter months – especially after the expected peak in cases after the holidays.
During his coronavirus press briefing on Monday, the governor outlined the 5-strategy plan that will focus on the capacity of hospitals, testing, schools, a safety campaign and a comprehensive vaccination plan.
1. Hospitalization and hospital capacity
“We are now worried about overwhelming the hospital system. And if those numbers continue to rise, which we predict, you will see significant stress. [within the hospital]Cuomo said Monday.
According to the governor, the state will prioritize and focus on the number of hospitalizations and hospital capacity by adding to the state’s yellow, orange and red zone designation the hospitalization rate, death rate, the case rate, hospital beds available in that community, beds available in intensive care, staff available, patient load management in that community, or as Cuomo described it “how effectively they manage patient load ”, as well as PPE and equipment availability.
“Everyone remembers the nightmare of what we went through with the PPE and the equipment,” Cuomo said, referring to the difficulties the state had in obtaining PPE during the spring peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor said the state “would set specific parameters for each of these factors. I want to wait and see what the numbers are after Thanksgiving. We don’t know the effect of Thanksgiving has been…. We also speak to administrators at hospitals across the state. We want to know exactly where they are today with their capacity, with their PPE, etc. We learned this lesson the hard way. ”
Additionally, Cuomo said if there was “a real crisis in hospitalization, we could potentially do NY PAUSE again.”
“Today every region faces a hospital problem,” Cuomo said. Hospitalizations topped 3,500 over the weekend, an alarming volume not seen in New York since May.
EMERGENCY MEASURES IN THE HOSPITAL
The governor also announced that the state would immediately initiate emergency hospital measures. The measures are:
- Each hospital must now identify retired nurses and doctors. “We are already experiencing a staff shortage. The staff are just exhausted after a while. They have had a horrible year. To go through again with emergencies and the arrival of large numbers of COVID patients… time and it worked really well, ”Cuomo said;
- Stop elective surgery in Erie County starting Friday. “Erie County has the most critical situation in the state. So Erie County must stop elective surgery; Erie County Catholic Hospitals have voluntarily stopped elective surgery just to be responsible. I thank them. It is now compulsory…. Let’s start liberating these hospitals If things continue to get worse. We will also stop elective surgery in other parts of the state, ”the governor said;
- The load balancing of the individual hospital network is mandatory from Monday. “There are hospital systems in the state that have a number of hospitals in their system – and they can be private or they can be public… it is mandatory as of today that they balance the load. within their system… So you distribute the patients among your hospitals in your system. The nightmare we went through the last time was that one hospital would be overwhelmed, but this system had other hospitals that had capacity, ”Cuomo said. “If a hospital is overwhelmed, there will be a state investigation and if the result of that investigation is that they have not distributed patients, it will be malpractice on their part. It was a serious problem the last time around. “
- Prepare regional emergency field hospital plans;
- Add 50% capacity to each hospital. “We did it the last time. It was very effective, ”said the governor;
- Prepare to implement a statewide surge and flex system that would allow [different hospital] systems;
- Prepare to staff emergency field hospitals;
- Confirm PPE stocks.
According to Cuomo, the second strategy in the state’s action plan calls for an increase in testing.
Additionally, Cuomo stressed that local communities need to have a balanced distribution of testing among healthcare workers, nursing homes, essential workers, schools, anyone who wants a test, etc.
3. Keep schools open in a safe manner
The third strategy, the governor said, will aim to keep schools open in a safe manner, with particular emphasis on special education and K-8.
This strategy calls for establishing sustainable continuous testing in schools for long-term operation.
According to Cuomo, experts have looked at this plan and say it is the most advanced and comprehensive state testing protocol for schools across the country and around the world. “No state has the testing school protocol that we have in place. No state, ”he said.
Local districts may close at levels under the state’s mandatory shutdown rule, but the state advises keeping the k-8 open whenever it is safe.
4. Education campaign on the dissemination of small gatherings
Since the spread of small gatherings is now the primary vector for all cases, Cuomo said, the state will launch a public campaign on safety.
According to the governor, 65% of all cases are all linked to small gatherings.
“The valve no longer controls the spread,” Cuomo said, effectively conceding that the throttling of indoor meals, gyms and other indoor activities no longer works. “Either people are going to hear it and get it, or they aren’t. ”
5. Vaccination plan
Cuomo said a vaccination program could start in the coming weeks. However, the state’s agenda will focus on three pillars: justice, equity and security.
Cuomo said the state will implement an inclusive immunization process that will focus on educating black, Hispanic and poor communities – all of which have been disproportionately affected by the COVID pandemic.