Michael Dowling on COVID-19's resurgence: It's 'foolish' to assume prevention efforts will work perfectly

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are falling in New York City, giving hard-hit hospitals time to reflect on their processes and solidify plans for a potential resurgence this fall, Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling told The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Dowling said hospital leaders in the area have been in constant communication with each other about a second wave of infections. While leaders are hopeful that prevention measures like social distancing will keep the pandemic at bay, "it would be foolish to assume that all the prevention would work perfectly," Mr. Dowling told WSJ.

New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell is leaving medical tents set up outside some of its hospitals through the fall in case patient volumes increase, according to Mr. Dowling. The system will also rely heavily on telemedicine and allow up to 20,000 nonclinical employees to continue working from home, which both proved successful during the pandemic's peak.

Mr. Dowling said health systems still need to eliminate care disparities among minority populations and work on sourcing more personal protective equipment domestically.

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