Rural hospitals throughout the Finger Lakes plan for expansion as COVID-19 pandemic spreads

Some of the smallest hospitals in the region are ready for whatever comes next as the Novel Coronavirus continues to spread throughout New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo pointed to this state as being a hotspot, in the pandemic, which has left hundreds-of-thousands infected across the globe. He also asked hospitals to increase capacity.

“We are preparing ourselves for that surge in volume and I think we are preparing ourselves well,” Matthew Talbot, Director of Emergency Departments at Finger Lakes Health told News10NBC. Finger Lakes Health operates a pair of local hospitals — Geneva General and Soldiers and Sailors.

Talbot says FLH has cleared up elective surgeries, and has worked to expand its ability to take on patients.

“We currently have the ability and the cushion to not only take care of our own communities bud any potential surge that we would get from travelers, or anybody else,” Talbot added.

In Canandaigua at F.F. Thompson Hospital — operated by the University of Rochester Medical Center — has celebrated the early-opening of its brand new, improved intensive care unit. While that only adds a dozen ICU beds — it frees up additional space around the hospital.

In Wayne County, Rochester Regional Health operates Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, which has already started seeing COVID-19 patients. They also operate Clifton Springs Hospital, which operates in Ontario County.

Meanwhile, Auburn Community Hospital, located in Cayuga County is working on addressing the issue of increasing beds. The Citizen reports that they will add 50 beds, moving it from a 99 bed facility — to one that can hold nearly 150.

Officials with the hospital say that a team is working on the planning and execution of that now.


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