Gov. Cuomo: Suffolk County hospitals can begin scheduling elective surgeries

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that hospitals in Suffolk County can begin scheduling elective surgeries which had been postponed due to the pandemic.
He says we are past the period where hospitals were only allowed to treat COVID-19 patients, and if you need medical attention you should get it now.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says this is an important milestone in the fight against the virus.
"It's a positive thing for public health and it's certainly a positive thing for the economy, as well for the budgets of hospitals," Bellone says.
Nick Fitterman, the executive director of Huntington Hospital, says they are taking extra precautions to make sure all patients feel safe.
"We have intense hygiene," Fitterman says. "Not just washing hands but the wiping of every high touch area."
He says there has been an uptick in people dying at home with heart attacks and strokes because they are fearful of coming to the hospital.
He also says the scheduling will be based on patient needs, like those who need cancer-related surgeries.
Angela Papalla, an assistant program director for the Adelphi Breast Cancer Hotline, says she believe that the elected officials have the best interest of the people in mind.
"We are optimistic moving forward as more people are able to seek additional services that were previously delayed due to COVID," Papalla says.
The Breast Cancer Statewide Hotline is available seven days a week at 1-800-877-8077 for those who need to speak.
Elective surgeries will start as early as next week.
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