URMC chief warns if infection rate isnt slowed we could be headed for another shutdown – WHEC

The hospitals’ chief medical officers told News10NBC there is a sense of urgency. 

Dr. Michael Apostolakos, Chief Medical Officer, URMC: “The plateau for flattening the curve is not yet in sight.” 

On the one hand at URMC, the number of COVID patients who need ventilators is half of what it was in the spring. 

Dr. Apostolakos: “But the total number of patients in the ICU is higher than ever.”

Rochester Regional has three times as many COVID patients as it did in the spring. 

Dr. Robert Mayo, Chief Medical Officer Rochester Regional Health: “The urgency of this message could not be greater than it is today.”

The message is: Wear a mask, keep your distance and wash your hands. 

Dr. Apostolakos: “If not we could be headed for another shutdown, a winter where businesses are closed, kids can’t go to school and only urgent medical care is available.”

Tuesday, Bob Duffy, CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and the chair of the Finger Lakes Region COVID control board said, “We’re trying to find a place where nursing home patients who are ready to go home but can’t go back to the nursing home and I could free up right now probably today 80 beds.”

A governor’s executive order says hospitals can’t send medically stable nursing home residents back to the nursing home until they test negative. 

Brean: “So what is the plan to discharge those patients safely?”

Dr. Apostolakos: “And what we’re doing is opening up different areas of our hospital where we can cohort these patients, they require less medical and nursing care, in a way that requires less staff to care for them.”

Hill Haven nursing home—part of the Rochester Regional system—set up a COVID wing but those beds are for COVID positive residents who are not in the hospital.