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37 New York hospitals at or below 10% capacity as of Friday



Albany, New York – According to the New York State Department of Health (DOH), beginning Friday, December 3, New York hospitals will be operating under the Surge and Flex system.

After Governor Kathy Hochul signed an Executive Order last Friday declaring a disaster emergency, the protocols were put in place.

The Surge and Flex system gives hospitals the ability to limit non-emergency procedures if they have 10% or less staffed bed capacity. The executive order also gives the state the ability to get critical supplies, like ventilators, in order to help hospitals take care of sick patients.

According to DOH, as of Friday, November 26, 37 hospitals in the state had 10% or less capacity including four major hospitals in the Capital Region: Albany Medical Center, Glens Falls Hospital, Samaritan Hospital, and Saratoga Hospital. The DOH said it will continue to work with hospitals in advance of the December 3 deadline.

“We’ve taken extraordinary action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and combat this pandemic. However, we continue to see warning signs of spikes this upcoming winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York State, it’s coming,” Governor Hochul said last Friday.

Glens Falls Hospital released a statement begging people to get vaccinated and/or get a booster shot to prevent further hospitalizations and overwhelming health care systems. According to the hospital, at the time they had more than 50 people who were admitted with COVID.

“Let me be blunt,” said Dr. Howard Fritz, Chief Medical Officer at Glens Falls Hospital, in the release. “If you are not vaccinated, get the vaccine immediately. If you are eligible for the booster, get it. Your life, your loved one’s lives, and those of your friends and neighbors depend on it.”

The Governor said on Monday that the National Guard would be tapped to aid health care facilities struggling with staffing issues. Then on Tuesday, she announced 60 National Guard Medical teams would be sent to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to help those identified as being in need.

Tuesday Governor also announced the opening of 18 #VaxtoSchool COVID vaccination sites.