Staffing shortages a concern for hospitals as COVID-19 cases rise

Coronavirus

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Capacity issues could be problematic for hospitals across New York State due to the rise in COVID-19 infections. At St. Peter’s Health Partners, they said they’re more concerned over possible staffing shortages.

“A bigger concern for us isn’t necessarily the beds as it is the staff available to take care of the patients because, like all people, our staff is experiencing exposure to COVID,” said Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Steven Hanks.

An overloaded hospital is now required to distribute patients to location within their system. This is a practice which began at the beginning of the pandemic when New York City hospitals sent patients throughout the state to be treated.

“Our number one priority is hospital capacity. That has always been my nightmare,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo at a recent press conference.

At the press conference, the governor announced new mandates for hospitals as an anticipated surge in cases is expected to come during the holiday season.

With counties seeing record setting daily COVID-19 cases, the governor is getting ahead of a potential fall out that could strain local hospital systems.

“I think we’re going to be fine here on all of this, but we have our work cut out for us,” Cuomo said.

More than 200 people are hospitalized in the Capital Region. Dr Hanks said he hopes a rise in COVID-19 cases holds off until the newly approved vaccine is distributed.

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