Local hospitals say they’re ready should coronavirus spread to Long Island

Posted: Updated:

As the coronavirus creeps closer to New York, Hospitals here on Long Island say they have procedures in place to help contain the spread if it reaches the Island.

Dr. Frederick Davis is an emergency department physician at Northwell Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

He says his hospital has measures in place in the event a patient showing symptoms of the highly contagious coronavirus comes through their emergency room doors.

"They are triaged and brought directly to an isolation room to bypass a lot of the waiting area," Davis says.

And if arriving by ambulance…

“They come in through an entrance that brings them into an isolation room," Davis explains.

Healthcare professionals are also taking precautions.

“We a special mask that goes over our mouth and nose to protect any air-borne particles as well as a shield to our eyes. A face shield or goggles and then your typical gown," Davis says.

Davis says there is no cure for the virus.

“It’s symptom management. There's no specific medication that’s going to change the course of this disease," Davis says.

Dr. Davis says washing one’s hands and covering their mouth when coughing are ways to help prevent spreading a contagious disease. He also adds that while many are worried about the corona virus, the flu is what people should be concerned about this time of year.

“We have more deaths in the United States currently by the flu than they are from the coronavirus or URI symptoms,” Davis says.

He adds that the hospitals work with law enforcement officials and says the screenings at John F. Kennedy International and other airports are helpful in containing a potential outbreak.

"If they do have a fever or upper respiratory symptoms, they're identified there, they're screened there, and should they have a heightened level of concern, they're transported to a facility." Davis says.


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