New York is dangerously close to overwhelming its hospital system with new COVID-19 cases — and preparing to recruit retired doctors and nurses to the front lines again, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
“It’s a new phase in the war against COVID,” Cuomo said — adding that daily coronavirus hospitalizations statewide are nearly quadruple what they were in June. Every hospital in the state must begin compiling a list of retired doctors and nurses that they can draw from because there are already staffing issues in some areas, Cuomo said.
“I am very worried about staff shortages,” Cuomo said. “I’m more concerned about the staff shortage than I am the [number of hospital] beds. “We can build beds. We can’t create more staff. And the staff is starting tired.”
About 30,000 health care workers flooded New York at the height of its crisis in the spring, but now “they’re all busy,’’ Cuomo said, noting that coronavirus surges are occurring across the country.
Larger hospital systems such as New York City’s H+H and Northwell also must begin balancing their patient loads — meaning they have to spread people among their sites so one facility isn’t overwhelmed while another has open beds.
It will be more than a month before the total fallout from the holiday season, including Christmas, is known, the governor said. There will be a continued push on testing, keeping K-8 schools open and educating the public better about small gatherings, Cuomo said.
Sources: NY Post; Image: CNBC