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As more regions reopen, fears are growing of a possible second wave of cases. If that happens - are Long Island hospitals prepared?

News 12 Staff

May 28, 2020, 12:20 AM

Updated 1,513 days ago

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As more regions reopen, fears are growing of a possible second wave of cases. If that happens - are Long Island hospitals prepared?
Dr. David Battinelli, of Northwell Health, says they're prepared for a possible round two.
"Meaning we've got lists of people who would be redeployed as they were the first time, we know what the PPE requirements are," says Battinelli.
Battinelli says Northwell was in the eye of the storm during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in early April. The hospital system expanded by 2,000 beds when the pandemic hit.
It eased the flood of patients with a practice called load balancing, meaning it moved as many as 70 patients a fay out of an overburdened hospital to other hospitals in the system.
"We did very well with the load balancing concept, we came together, learned how to do things virtually, it was our first time going through all of that," says Battinelli. "And again, we saw things clinically and we learned a lot there. So we know how to take care of these patients better than the first time."
The governor's said preparation for a possible second wave is built into the state's reopening plan. He says hospitals must have a 90-day stockpile of PPE and must have 30% of ICU beds available.
Battinelli says as businesses and public spaces like airports and subways begin to reopen, it will be very important to keep a close eye on any uptick of the virus.
"There will be much, much better contact tracing than the first time," says Battinelli. "The reason contact tracing didn't happen as well the first time is simply we were overwhelmed in terms of numbers. We really didn't have that preparation for the extent of the contact tracing that we're going to have to have moving forward."
 


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