Nassau implements early pandemic protocols to relieve hospital stressors

Police, medics and all EMS personnel in Nassau County are reverting to COVID-19 protocols they haven't seen since the beginning of the pandemic to provide relief to hospitals.

News 12 Staff

Jan 8, 2021, 4:07 PM

Updated 1,197 days ago

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Police, medics and all EMS personnel in Nassau County are reverting to COVID-19 protocols they haven't seen since the beginning of the pandemic to provide relief to hospitals.
It's called the viral pandemic triage protocol. County Executive Laura Curran says it requires EMS to perform a COVID-19 screening and to only transport patients to the hospital who meet the criteria.
"If they have mild symptoms and they can convalesce at home,” says County Executive Laura Curran. “That makes a lot more sense than to take them to the hospital. We want to safeguard our hospital capacity."
Rebecca Sanin, the head of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, says she has serious concerns about the protocol. She says while she has tremendous respect for EMS personnel, they are not medical doctors.
"I don't believe that EMS personnel are effectively equipped in the way that medical doctors are to make a full assessment about whether or not someone's symptoms rise to the level of needing hospitalization," she told News 12.
Nassau officials stressed that the decision to stay home or head to the hospital would be a shared one.
"We have our medical control doctors and will be available via phone to consult with the patients if there's any questions. We are not going force anyone to stay home who absolutely wants to go to the hospital," says Christopher Airey, the Emergency Ambulance Bureau's commanding officer.
Suffolk County officials say they reinstated the protocol two weeks ago.


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