Private, public New York hospitals to fight coronavirus as one system, governor says

New York's private and public hospitals will unite to manage patient load and share resources during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Typically, the state's public healthcare system and its private hospitals have worked as separate entities. But in a March 30 meeting, public and private hospitals agreed to work together to withstand the strain imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, the governor said.

In New York as of 12:30 p.m. Central Time, on March 30, 66,497 have been sickened with COVID-19, 9,517 have been hospitalized, and 1,218 have died.

The state's public and private hospitals in the state have agreed that if one hospital is nearing capacity, it will be allowed to transfer patients to a hospital that has room, according to Mr. Cuomo.

The state will establish a threshold at which hospitals can transfer patients.

"There has to be a totally different operating paradigm where all those different hospitals act as one system," Mr. Cuomo said.

Public and private hospitals across the state will also share mask and other resources so that a few hospitals without them won't have to scramble for them.

"The distinction between private and public [hospitals] has to go out the window. We are one healthcare system," Mr. Cuomo said at a March 31 press briefing.

The state added 3,500 beds March 30 with the opening of an emergency hospital at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City with 2,500 beds and the docking of Navy ship Comfort, with 1,000 beds. Those facilities will care for non-COVID-19 patients, the governor said.

He asked healthcare workers from other states that are not yet feeling the brunt of the pandemic to come to New York to support COVID-19 care, as the state is seeing the highest number of cases anywhere in the country. He promised that New York will return the favor in other states when they are dealing with huge surges of COVID-19 patients.

"What is happening to New York is not an anomaly," he said. "New York is just the canary in the coal mine."

More articles on public health:
New York to allow ventilator-sharing, despite misgivings from experts
COVID-19 vs. SARS: How the outbreaks compare
10 countries with most COVID-19 cases, deaths

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