New York – Anticipating a sharp rise in COVID-19 patients, hospitals in and around New York City are clearing beds, opening spaces for the seriously ill, and urging people with mild symptoms to consult professionals by phone or chat at instead of going to the emergency services.
The incidence in the state reached 1,700 on Wednesday, with at least 16 deaths. Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that demand for hospital beds could quickly exceed capacity by tens of thousands as the epidemic nears its peak, which is expected to happen in the next 45 days.
In Mount Sinai hospital emergency rooms, the number of people presenting with respiratory disorders “has increased dramatically” in recent days, said emergency chief Dr. Brendan Carr. Most present with mild to moderate symptoms. But looking for analysis and answers, he said, but this has been offset in part by the decline in other patients and the decision to dedicate more space and staff to emergency rooms.RELATED
Also, there are people who come in for examination without symptoms. Given the paucity of testing facilities, just showing up in an emergency room is no guarantee of getting an exam, said NYU Langone Health chief emergency officer Dr. Robert Fermia.
Mayor Bill de Blasio urged people with possible coronavirus symptoms to stay home and wait a couple of days to see if they improve rather than immediately call the doctor.
“Do not go to the emergency room unless there is a real, immediate and urgent emergency,” said the mayor.
Cuomo asked the Military Corps of Engineers to build temporary hospitals, and members of the state delegation in Congress asked President Donald Trump to send a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship to the city to care for other patients while hospitals receive COVID-19 patients.
The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 200,000 people and killed more than 8,000 worldwide.
COVID-19 disease causes mild or moderate symptoms for many and the vast majority recover. Some people, especially the elderly or those with previous medical problems, may experience complications such as pneumonia.