UTICA, N.Y. -- Security at Utica College is tight. They’re trying to maintain sterile conditions as the number of people infected by the coronavirus is projected to reach peak numbers in the coming weeks. The college is preparing to accommodate healthcare professionals if there’s a spike in coronavirus cases. Shad Crowe is the director of Emergency Management at UC, and explains why there needs to be a plan in place -- now.
"In the event of the worst case scenario, in the event that there’s a tremendous surge in the virus and people are affected by it, we need to have those pieces in place before it happens. We can’t try to make it happen when it happens, we need to be prepared for it," said Crowe.
Utica College is in the final stages of sanitizing Boehlert Hall to be used as temporary housing for first responders and healthcare professionals if the need should arise. Burrstone House will be used in the interim.
"We are in the process of sanitizing, cleaning it, preparing it if it’s needed to house hospital staff," he said.
Crowe explained how they’ve planned for a possible surge.
"SUNY Poly has donated linens for the use here in Burrstone House in the event that we need to provide space for people. So these linens will be used in both spaces. This is a basic room. They each have their own restroom. There’s a bed, a dresser, there is Wi-Fi, there’s a cable connection, all of which are active. This would be the…one of the points of entry," he said.
The building is also ideal for keeping patients quarantined.
"We can limit access. We have a door at the end of the hall here that would allow anyone standing in these rooms to enter and exit through this door and not contaminate or enter any other portion of the building," said Crowe.
UC isn’t the only college taking precautionary action, but the idea here is: better to be safe than sorry.