BINGHAMTON, NY – Broome County has turned the Floyd Maines Veterans Memorial Arena into a temporary holding pen should COVID-19 overwhelm local emergency rooms in the future.
County Executive Jason Garnar announced during his daily briefing today that an Emergency Medical Services triage center has been set up in the Arena.
It can hold up to 50 patients exhibiting coronavirus symptoms who would remain under the care of Emergency Medical Technicians until space opens up for them at a hospital.
“It’s going to be fairly minimal as far as medical care. It’s not intended to be a substitute for hospital care. It’s just a way of efficiently caring for a number of people at once if the hospitals’ capabilities are temporarily exceeded by the demand,” says EMS Coordinator Ray Serowik.
Serowik says critical cases would still be taken to the hospital.
And he says these beds do not count toward the additional 50 percent capacity that Governor Cuomo has ordered hospitals to develop.
Garnar says the county is reaching out to school nurses to assist with less critical duties at the hospital, freeing up existing nurses to focus on coronavirus patients.
He also announced a third fatality in the county from COVID-19, a woman in her 70’s who died at a UHS hospital.