One Brooklyn Health and other hospitals systems have also sought assistance from the state officials. Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a health emergency in November and authorized nurses students to assist during this surge. The state has also sent 120 National Guard members to nursing home and directed federal teams to assist in their own crises.
Mr. Raske stated that the state has not sent personnel reinforcements to downstate hospitals.
Jill Montag spokeswoman of the state Health Department did not dispute that statement. However, she stated that the state was helping hospitals coordinate their efforts. 50 ambulance teams were secured from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for New York City by the state; 25 will arrive on Saturday.
Omicron waves have spread from wealthy Manhattan neighborhoods to low-income communities, causing a problem for community hospitals. The South Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens had Covid positivity rates exceeding 40 percent this week. On average, 37,000 new cases are reported daily in the city.
Long-standing health care inequalities mean that patients from low-income areas are also being admitted to hospitals with more preexisting medical conditions. Vaccination rates in these areas tends to be lower, leading to more severe diseases. About 2,500 people were tested positive for the virus in Brooklyn, where Brookdale is located, with a 43 percent positivity rate.
Not all safety net hospitals claim they are being stretched beyond their limits. Nearly 46 percent of test positivity in the Bronx was recorded in the area surrounding St. Barnabas Hospital. Officials said they could deal with the higher volume despite having 7 to 9 percent of workers with Covid-19 or caring relatives who are sick.
Not all of the hospital’s intensive care bed are full, and of the 30 patients presently in intensive care at St. Barnabas, only 10 have Covid-19, said Dr. Edward Telzak, the chief of internal medicine. “Covid-19 is not overwhelming us,” he added.
It is not the same at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx’s pediatric emergency department. This is a major non-profit hospital in the Bronx. Julian Grant, a registered nurse, stated that the small emergency department was often filled with up to 80 patients with only two nurses.
Source: NY Times