With the number of COVID-19 cases across the globe, country, state, and region rising, the Hudson Valley is in danger of a potential hospital bed shortage as nearly three quarters are currently occupied.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week that any region that is in danger of reaching 90 percent hospital capacity within three weeks will be designated as a “red zone” and there will be an economic shutdown of all non-essential businesses.
“Deaths are a worry, and a shutdown of the economy is a real, viable worry, and this is not coming from an over-anxious personality. It’s not far fetched, it’s something to really worry about,” he added.
“We’ve heard some people say ‘well I’m upset that you’re trying to change the trajectory,’ but you should be happy, because if we don’t, your business is going to close, and that my friend is a real problem.”
According to the latest data from the state, the Hudson Valley currently has 705 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, which represents .003 percent of the region’s population.
There is currently 26 percent of hospital beds still available in the region, which has been approaching the 10 percent threshold to be shut down in recent weeks.
The Hudson Valley also has 741 total ICU beds, 394 of which are occupied, leaving 48 percent of ICU beds available in the region.
In response to the rise in cases across the state, Cuomo instructed all hospitals to increase their capacity, either by creating new beds, or by temporarily eliminating elective surgeries.
"There is no politics or rhetoric in the number of people going into the hospital, and the increase in hospitalizations could overwhelm some regions if nothing changes by January," Cuomo said. "That's the trajectory we're looking at and trying to change.
“We're simultaneously increasing hospital capacity and, frankly, changing how hospitals operate,” he added. “At the same time, we have to slow the spread by doing what we know works - social distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding gatherings. If we don't, we know what closes down a region. It's called a red zone. That's the situation we're trying to avoid.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.