UTICA, N.Y. - Governor Cuomo says demand for hospital beds across the state could outstrip current capacity by tens of thousands, but Mohawk Valley Health Systems says space is not an issue, their top priorities are supplies and people.
"By people, I'm talking about all of the health care workers, whether they're doctors or nurses or clinical assistants or whomever that are caring for patients and may get sick themselves," Dr. Kent Hall, the Chief Physician Executive at MVHS said.
No one is being treated for coronavirus at MVHS.
The hospital called a news conference Tuesday to reinforce it's visitor restrictions and remind people not to walk in to the E.R. with symptoms, they say to call your doctor first.
While the governor is addressing concerns with capacity across the state, MVHS says the concern is labor.
"We have a lot of buildings in this community so space is not an issue for us, it's the labor to take care of the patients," Darlene Stromstad, President and CEO of MVHS said. "We are concerned about the long hours and stress that health care workers are placed under in times like these so we are asking our staff to tap out when they're tired and need a rest and if they don't do that then their supervisors will require it."
The hospital is taking names of staff members who can work in more than one department and talking to retirees about the potential of coming back if needed.
Another focus for the hospital is supplies.
"If we continue to use supplies at this level, and what we're seeing in other places, we will face a shortage so we have given our list of needs to the county and asked the to please be an advocate for us and our county," Stromstad said.
MVHS is also looking to the state for help if needed.
"We are checking our inventory on a regular basis and asking for help across the state," Hall said.
Both Stromstad and Hall are urging calm, but want to remind people this is a marathon, not a sprint.
"It is important for everybody to know that we are following what is best knowledge and best practiced at this time and that if everybody does that from a community standpoint, from a health standpoint, from a health care standpoint that we will get through this," Hall said. "As I've said, this is a marathon, not a sprint."