More than 70 percent of hospital beds in the Hudson Valley are occupied as the state continues combating the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the latest update from the state Department of Health, there are now 722 in the Hudson Valley hospitalized with the virus, representing 0.03 percent of the population in the region.
The number leaves the region with just 28 percent of hospital beds still available, with only the Southern Tier and North Country with more capacity available as the virus surges.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo previously said 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.
"New Yorkers can stop a shutdown, New Yorkers can save lives. It just depends on what we do and what we need to do is manage the hospitals, administer the vaccine and slow the spread," Cuomo said. "While we have been working with hospital systems to expand capacity, the first of the vaccine arrived and New York's goal is to have the best vaccine program in the United States.”
In the Hudson Valley, 409 of the region’s 725 ICU beds are currently occupied, leaving 46 percent still available, in case of emergency, also the fewest in the state.
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 as the state works to implement its COVID-19 vaccination plan.
“It's the most ambitious governmental operation that has been undertaken, period,” Cuomo said about the vaccination plan. “We have been planning for the vaccine, now we're implementing that plan and we're ensuring New Yorkers can access the vaccine free of charge.
“New Yorkers always set the bar high and with what we went through in the spring, I want to make sure that we're doing everything we can to be the first state to kill this beast - so please, wear a mask, wash your hands and continue to socially distance.”
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