ICU’s in Southern Tier Reach Near-Capacity Levels

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Hospitals across the Twin Tier’s are slowly nearing ICU capacity as a result of climbing COVID-19 cases statewide.

“We don’t have enough people vaccinated,” Steuben County Public Health Director Darlene Smith said. “The majority [of patients in the ICU] are unvaccinated.”

With the first reported case of the highly-contagious Omicron variant confirmed in the United States, there’s concern the ICU’s could start to overflow.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Guthrie Corning Hospital and Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital had 75-percent of their ICU beds occupied. About 30-percent of the beds were reportedly occupied by COVID-19 patients.

“We’ve seen our hospitals, at some days, near-total capacity and other days we have some flexibility,” Chief Medical Officer at Guthrie Hospital Dr. John Olmstead said. “We’re constantly working to get patients where they need to be for the level of care that they need.”

18 News reached out to Arnot Health in Elmira to determine what level of capacity their ICU was at. In a statement, they said “Our bed availability varies by unit and changes by the hour, as patients are discharged and admitted.  Therefore, we do not share our daily census statistics. As throughout this pandemic and at times of fluctuating demand, our focus remains on meeting community needs and operational effectiveness to ensure optimal access to services and high quality of care.”

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