Will hospitals be able to withstand the peak of the coronavirus pandemic?

Posted: Updated:

With the coronavirus outbreak putting a strain on our health care system on Long Island and nationwide, are we prepared for when the pandemic peaks?

The questions have lingered for doctors, nurses and other health care workers. Do they have the right personal protective equipment? Is there enough to go around? And what happens if the supply runs out?

Amy Pacholk, a critical care nurse, says she believes hospitals are trying to protect staff and patients, but simply can't because our country isn't as prepared as it should be.

"Do I feel protected? No, I don't feel protected. Do I feel safe? No, I don't feel safe," says Pacholk. "I think most people like myself are a little bit anxious and a little bit uncomfortable."

"We're doing everything we can to maximize our stock, to minimize waste of these products, and to appropriately ration them without in any way putting our employees or any of the staff or any other patients in any way at risk," says Dr. Aaron Glatt, of Mount Sinai South Nassau.

This means that in some cases, hospital staff is being told to follow CDC recommendations and wear the same gowns and masks from patient-to-patient. But that's only if each patient has a confirmed coronavirus case, and the worker still has to wash their hands and change gloves before going room-to-room.

Other health care systems like Northwell Health says they're OK for now on gowns, gloves and even ventilators.

"We've been asking them to use one mask per shift instead of several," says Terry Lynam, of Northwell Health.

That process is also allowed by the CDC as long as masks aren't contaminated.

Northwell Health says its lab is now fully automated and capable of processing 1,000 testing kits a day.

Stony Brook statement: 


Catholic Health Services Statement: 



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