MVHS preparing for influx of patients

MVHS held a press conference on Monday updating their community on their response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Posted: Mar 24, 2020 8:49 AM
Updated: Mar 24, 2020 10:07 AM

UTICA, N.Y. --- MVHS held a press conference on Monday updating the community on their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Medical officials making several announcements including the suspension of remote testing sites throughout Oneida County.

MVHS said that the decision was made due to the lack of testing supplies and protective equipment.

"This decision was made in conjunction with the county health department and Rome Memorial Hospital. We simply do not have the testing kits or swabs necessary to continue with this testing," said Darlene Stomstad, president/CEO of MVHS.

Dr. Kent Hall, chief physician executive said that Individual caution is more important than the testing itself.

"As the governor has said on multiple occasions, the more tests you do, the more you will find. So the inverse to that is the fewer tests you do the less you will find. But if you presume that everyone has got it, then becomes less important," said Hall.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is requiring all hospitals to increase their capacity by 50 percent. 

MVHS said the increase would move their average capacity at both St. Lukes and St. Elizabeth's from 375 patients to 525 patients.

"Based on what we are seeing in other states and what we are seeing in our state, we are preparing for a large surge in volume," said Stomstad.

She also added because of this, they are seeking the help of retired nurses and doctors. Those interested are asked to call 315-624-5607.

MVHS also said that they're getting creative with the limited resources that they have. Stomstad said their employees are creating facemasks for doctors and nurses out of laminate, plastic and rubber bands.

This is all in preparation for the possibility of downstate patients needing to come to upstate hospitals due to overflow. 

Cuomo saying in his briefing that its a plan that they are considering. Specifically pointing out Utica Hospitals.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said in his briefing that "the hospitals have received no word that that is happening right now." 

Stomstad said that they would need to be prepared if that time comes, saying, "Our priority is to our community, however, we are part of the state of New York and we will take care of any patient that comes here." 

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 503176

Reported Deaths: 33444
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