Hospitals across Long Island gear up to face coronavirus

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Long Island hospitals are gearing up for any possible patients who need to be treated for the coronavirus, with plans in place for a variety of scenarios.

The plan that is in place at Mount Sinai South Nassau is the same that's been in place for other infectious diseases.

"Our protocols are to isolate, to restrict access for staff so that we don't expose all of the staff, and to treat the patient in a way where they can get better without exposing other patients," says Mount Sinai South Nassau Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adhi Sharma.

That plan goes into action right at the entrance, where signs alert people about recent travel and potential exposure. If someone is deemed to be at risk, they would be taken to an isolation room. There's also what's called an "ante-room."

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"So the ante-room allows the staff an in-between room that we call a yellow zone," says Sharma. "That yellow zone is not an infected space but it's not a clean space."

In that room, staff would put on and take off protective gear like masks, gowns and gloves.

Dr. Sharma says if there was a surge of patients who needed to be treated, the hospital could isolate an entire floor or more to treat them.

Northwell Health issued a statement saying in part, "If the worse-case scenario develops and the New York area does experience a large number of coronavirus cases, Northwell and its hospitals have plans in place to handle a surge in patient volume."

A similar sentiment is felt at Good Samaritan Hospital. The chief of emergency services says hospitals are getting constant updates from the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I think the physicians within CHS are trying to stay on top of it as much as he possibly can," says Dr. Christopher Raio. "As you know, and the people in the community know, we're getting little bits of information really on a daily basis."

Nassau University Medical Center says its hospital is prepared and ready. NYU-Winthrop says it's been preparing since the first case was reported in China.

 

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