Governor Cuomo address hospital challenges, potential of moving downstate patients upstate

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ALBANY, NY – The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State is up to more than 37,000.

And, more than 5,000 of those people are hospitalized.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on the challenges the state still faces when it comes to hospital capacity, masks, tests and PPE. 

((Corina Cappabianca)) The vast majority of the confirmed cases are downstate.

And, the Governor says the administration is working on a plan for potentially distributing the load of patients down the line.

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor)) We’re working on a collaboration where we distribute the load between downstate hospitals and upstate hospitals and we’re also working on increasing the capacity for upstate hospitals. 

But, he says that would only be resorted to as the last option.

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor)) I’m not eager to redistribute people from downstate to upstate there are just practical consequences. The family would have to travel further to visit them, etc. 

The governor says when it comes to PPE, it’s is an ‘ongoing issue’ the state continues to shop for. 

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor))  We do have enough PPE for the immediate future. The NYC hospital system confirmed that. So we have enough in stock now for the immediate need.

When he was asked about reports of a lack of PPE in Western New York he had this to say:

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor)) Any hospital anywhere whatever we have we’ll distribute. And we distribute it on an as needed basis. So if you say we need it in a week and a half, frankly we’re dealing with hospitals that need it tomorrow and the day after, that’s the kind of time frame we’re dealing with. 

We also asked about when more testing kits could be coming Upstate.

(Andrew Cuomo, Governor)) Hospitals tend to like to have supplies for a long period of time which I understand. So they want to have a one month supply, a three week supply. We don’t have that ability. If we can provide a few days supply that’s what we’re looking at, which makes them uncomfortable. I understand.

((Corina Cappabianca)) He says the DOH can provide them to hospitals that need supplies immediately.

And, he says that there are mobile testing units if there’s a person who needs a test and a hospital doesn’t have supplies.

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