Why the state and nation are shutting down for coronavirus concerns

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — Most people who will get this virus will have mild to moderate symptoms.

In New York’s hot spot, Westchester County, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says of the 950 confirmed cases, 158 have been hospitalized.

That’s 17 percent of victims, which fits with the predictions of public health officials that roughly 20 percent of people with COVID-19 will need hospitalization.

While many people get seriously ill from seasonal influenza, a large segment of the population is protected by a vaccine that will either prevent the flu or make it less severe.

That is not the case with COVID-19 because there is no vaccine as of yet, and it seems to spread more easily than seasonal influenza.

Officials are worried that if too many people get sick too quickly, the number of people who need to be treated at a hospital, particularly in an intensive care unit, will overwhelm the available beds and healthcare workers.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

The United States has approximately one million hospital beds, about 100,000 of those are critical care beds for more than 327 million Americans.

According to Cuomo, there are 53,000 hospital beds in the state and 3,000 of those are ICU beds.

Here in Central New York at the four Syracuse hospitals — Crouse, St. Joseph’s, Upstate Community Campus, and University Hospital — there are a combined 1,650 hospital beds, according to the New York State Department of Health’s website.

That number includes medical/surgical beds, maternity, psychiatric, NICU and other specialties.

Those hospitals have a combined capacity of 148 ICU beds.

It’s fair to say the majority of those beds are already filled with people recovering from surgery, traffic and other types of accidents, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, flu, pneumonia and other diseases.

Cuomo put the statewide occupancy rate at about 80 percent.

If you apply that estimate to the Syracuse numbers, that would mean there is, on average, about 330 hospital beds available and about 30 ICU beds.

If 1,000 people all come down with COVID-19 in a week and 20 percent of them need to be in a hospital, that’s 200 people

That’s why the state and local counties are taking such drastic steps, not to prevent the spread, but to slow it, so hospitals are not flooded with a tsunami of sick people.

That is why schools, churches, and businesses are closing and why large public gatherings are banned.

Many may still get the virus, but the idea is to keep those who become the sickest from all needing hospital care at once.

Here is a list of the number of hospital Central New York as complied from the NYS Department of Health’s website NYSD Hospital Profiles:

Crouse Hospital

  • Total beds: 465
  • ICU beds: 29
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 295
  • Maternity beds: 53
  • Pediatric beds: 31
  • NICU beds: 57

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center

  • Total beds: 451
  • ICU beds: 48
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 323
  • Maternity beds: 26
  • NICU beds: 14
  • Psychiatric: 30

Upstate University Hospital at Community General

  • Total beds: 314
  • ICU beds: 20
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 208
  • Rehab beds: 20
  • Trans. Care: 20

University Hospital

  • Total beds: 420
  • ICU beds: 51
  • Bone Marrow Tsp: 4
  • Burn Unit: 6
  • Coma Recovery: 2
  • Coronary Care: 8
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 220
  • Pediatric beds: 46
  • Pediatric ICU: 15
  • Rehab beds: 30
  • Prisoner beds: 10
  • Psychiatric beds: 24
  • Trauma/Brain injuries: 4

Regional Hospitals

Auburn Community Hospital

  • Total beds: 99
  • ICU beds: 5
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 61
  • Maternity beds: 10
  • Pediatric beds: 4
  • Psychiatric: 14

Oswego Hospital

  • Total beds: 132
  • ICU beds: 4
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 92
  • Maternity beds: 20
  • Pediatric beds: 12

Oneida Health Hospital

  • Total beds: 101
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 71
  • Maternity beds: 12
  • Pediatric beds: 12

Rome Hospital

  • Total beds: 130
  • ICU beds: 11
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 85
  • Maternity beds: 15
  • Pediatric beds: 7
  • Psychiatric beds: 12

St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica

  • Total beds: 201
  • ICU beds: 20
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 149
  • Pediatric beds: 8
  • Psychiatric beds: 24

Faxton – St. Luke’s Healthcare St. Luke’s Division

  • Total beds: 370
  • ICU beds: 22
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 238
  • Coronary beds: 8
  • Maternity: 26
  • Neonatal beds: 12
  • Pediatric beds: 14
  • Rehab: 24
  • Psychiatric: 26

Guthrie Cortland Medical Center

  • Total beds: 162
  • ICU beds: 12
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 116
  • Maternity beds: 15
  • Pediatric beds: 8
  • Psychiatric beds: 11

Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca

  • Total beds: 212
  • ICU beds: 8
  • Medical/Surgery beds: 127
  • Maternity beds: 8
  • NICU beds: 8
  • Rehab beds: 15
  • Psychiatric beds: 26

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