ONEIDA COUNTY- Mohawk Valley Health System is taking all measures possible to increase hospital bed capacity with the looming threat of a possible local outbreak of coronavirus.
As of Wednesday, Oneida County had a total of 15 confirmed cases, according to the office of County Executive Anthony Picente.
Because of these preparations, several local MVHS medical offices will temporarily close and consolidate until further notice. "We are basically trying to accommodate by increasing their bed volume by 50-100% and that way we will have more resources to dedicate to the hospital setting," said Dr. Adam Seigers, MD of Boonville Medical Office. "We are trying to consolidate any primary care to one location."
This means that Boonville Medical Office will temporarily close beginning Friday, March 27. Dr. Seigers told us that patients can go to the Barneveld office for an in-person medical visit. "All medication refills will be handled in the usual fashion by calling 315-942-4391," Dr. Seigers added. "We also wanted to let patients know that the office will be offering telemedicine visits and home visits for those individuals that telemedicine is not appropriate for."
So far, St. Luke's Hospital has been preparing to increase twice their bed capacity, while St. Elizabeth's is aimed to increase their bed capacity by 75%. Nearby Rome Memorial Hospital announced earlier this week a plan to increase their bed capacity by 50%.
Governor Andrew Cuomo recently gave recent orders for hospitals across the state to increase their capacity by at least 50%, if not more. St. Luke's will ultimately end up with 346 beds, while St. Elizabeth's will from 141 up to 240, according to MVHS officials.
Between St. Luke's and St. Elizabeth's, there are a total of 50 ventilators split evenly between the two, according to MVHS President and CEO Darlene Stromstad.
The peak of this surge, which is calculated to strike in 21 days, will require a projected 140,000 hospital beds statewide. Currently, New York has 53,000. However, health experts say that peak could arrive sooner or later.
For more details and other important information from Dr. Adam Seigers, be sure to listen to our featured on-air story here:
Note: Dr. Seigers received his bachelors degree in Biology at Binghamton University (Binghamton, NY) and his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University (Syracuse, NY). He is certified in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Prior to joining FSLH, Dr. Seigers completed his residency in internal medicine at Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown and has volunteered at the Broome County Free Clinic.