Monday, March 30, 2020

Upstate, Downstate

In his press briefing early this afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo stressed the need for "the entire statewide healthcare establishment" to work together during the COVID-19 crisis. "This is a statewide battle," said Cuomo. "If there is division at this time, the virus will defeat us." He spoke of balancing the load of COVID-19 patients across the state and suggested, as he has before, that upstate hospitals may have to relieve downstate hospitals.

This morning, Jack Mabb, director of the Columbia County Department of Health, in an interview on WGXC, expressed his concern that transferring patients from downstate hospitals could impact his ability to keep county residents safe. The interview inspired an article that appeared in the Times-Union this afternoon: "Columbia County health director concerned about downstate patients moving upstate." 

During the course of the interview, Mabb stated that a third of the positive cases in Columbia County were residents of New York City who have second homes in Columbia County. He also revealed that the Columbia County Office of Emergency Management has identified eleven buildings that could be converted into temporary medical facilities, should the need arise, and one of those eleven buildings is the old ShopRite on Healy Boulevard.

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