Monroe County hospitals prepare for possible COVID-19 surge after holidays


Dr. Joseph Varon, right, leads a team as they try to save the life of a patient unsuccessfully inside the Coronavirus Unit at United Memorial Medical Center, Monday, July 6, 2020, in Houston. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in the second-largest state in the U.S. have more than doubled in the last two weeks. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As the Chief Medical Officer of Rochester Regional Health Dr. Robert Mayo is well aware, Monroe County is currently experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases.

“We certainly feel a sense of urgency to be ready for however this pandemic evolves,” Mayo said.

With record single-day cases on Monday and COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Finger Lakes Region eclipsing 180, Mayo said while they’re concerned for capacity, they’ve prepared.

“Rochester Regional health presently has quite a bit in additional capacity than what we are using presently for in-patient care,” Mayo said.

Monroe County isn’t alone in seeing a spike as coronavirus cases are up all around the county. President-Elect Joe Biden gave a warning of the days ahead in an address to the nation on Monday.

“We’re going into a very dark winter. Things are going to get tougher before they get easier. And that requires sparing no effort to fight covid so we can open our businesses safely, resume our lives and put this pandemic behind us.”

Many Americans will have tough decisions to make as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.

“We hope that our community can restrict their holiday celebrations as much as possible,” Mayo said.

Just three days ago, Monroe County reported 157 hospitalizations in the Finger Lakes region. Now, that number jumped by roughly 30. Local doctors said they are prepared for any surges the holidays may bring, but Mayo recommends toughing it out this year so we can see the cases of this deadly virus start trending in the right direction.

“That’s very different for many people, but I’m hoping people can forbear this year and we can get through our holidays with that kind of restriction, and we hope we really reap the benefits by having a better COVID outcome.”

Mayo said RRH has seen a 30% rise in testing demands and hopes they can avoid restricting elective surgeries moving forward.

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