First Covid-19 Vaccines Could Arrive This Weekend

 

Covid-19 vaccines are expected to arrive on Long Island as early as this weekend, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday. 

The first batch of 26,500 Pfizer doses are designated for nursing home residents and staff and high-risk health care workers, meaning those who work in certain categories of patient care, such as emergency room workers, ICU  and pulmonary department staff. Hospitals will identify those workers first in line.

The Long Island batch is a part of the 170,000 doses expected statewide.  

The state has set up 90 regional distribution centers that are capable of the ultra-cold storage needed to protect the efficacy of the vaccine.

Staff at every hospital in the state, regardless of whether a hospital has storage capabilities, will have access to the first vaccine distribution.

Cuomo said the Food and Drug Administration could approve the vaccine as early as Thursday, allowing the delivery of the vaccine to New York to go forward after a state panel also reviews the vaccine test data.

  • Test Results Reported  194,595
  • Patient Hospitalization  4,993 (+158)
  • Patients Newly Admitted – 747
  • Hospital Counties – 53
  • Number ICU – 952 (+46)
  • Number ICU with Intubation – 521 (+28)
  • Total Discharges  89,089 (+505)
  • Deaths – 95
  • Total Deaths  27,404

 

Region

Total ICU Beds in Region

Total Occupied ICU Beds in Region

Percent of ICU Beds Available in Region (7-day Avg)

Capital Region

313

187

44%

Central New York

290

198

33%

Finger Lakes

506

270

58%

Long Island

808

608

25%

Mid-Hudson

747

378

48%

Mohawk Valley

129

100

25%

New York City

2361

1773

26%

North Country

73

38

53%

Southern Tier

129

90

34%

Western New York

619

286

49%

NYS TOTAL

5975

3928

36%

  

Region

COVID Patients Currently in Hospital in Region

COVID Patients as Percent of Region Population

Percent of Hospital Beds Available in Region (7-Day Avg)

Capital Region

243

0.02%

26%

Central New York

304

0.04%

24%

Finger Lakes

599

0.05%

27%

Long Island

769

0.03%

18%

Mid-Hudson

666

0.03%

25%

Mohawk Valley

178

0.04%

25%

New York City

1524

0.02%

19%

North Country

42

0.01%

46%

Southern Tier

151

0.02%

40%

Western New York

517

0.04%

27%

Statewide

4993

0.03%

22%

 

Cuomo Suggests FDA Might Authorize Pfizer Vaccine Thursday

 

 

 

Meanwhile,  State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker has issued a letter to hospital and nursing home administrators to outline data reporting measures as part of the state’s ‘Surge and Flex’ protocol.

It read:

As you know, we are seeing a surge in COVID cases and fully expect to see increasing case numbers and hospitalizations at least through mid-January. The optimistic view is that after mid- January the rate of increase will slow. However, most experts agree that COVID will continue to be an issue until the number of people currently expected to be vaccinated reaches critical mass, which is somewhere between June and September.

We all learned much from the spring surge of COVID cases. It is our responsibility now to implement those lessons. For hospitals, we learned that the surge in COVID cases at times overwhelmed the capacity of individual hospitals. Some hospital systems were not prepared to balance patient load among other facilities in their system in a timely fashion. This led to individual hospitals experiencing difficulties. It is imperative that individual hospital systems are prepared to balance the volume of incoming patients prior to their being admitted into a hospital.

As we learned in the spring, keeping a watchful eye on capacity ensures that there is support in place and/or alternative plans to prevent any facility from being overwhelmed. That means that systems must keep track of the number of incoming cases, project out both patient load growth patterns and note which individual hospitals in the system may face issues, and develop practices to avoid individual hospitals in the system from being overwhelmed. Balancing the patient load for facilities within the system is imperative. Hospitals that are not part of a hospital system must, as part of their surge plan required under the regulation, develop and have in place appropriate arrangements with neighboring hospitals to accommodate an increase in patient volume prior to a level that overwhelms their hospital capacity.

The state will continue to monitor hospital capacity through the HERDS system. However, it is incumbent upon individual hospitals and hospital systems to alert the state to issues and situations prior to the hospital reaching 80% capacity, or in surge a situation, prior to reaching 75% of the implemented surge capacity. Reported capacity should specifically include total staffed operating beds, total staffed ICU beds, staffing shortages, PPE, and any critical patient care equipment, as is currently reported in the HERDS survey. We will modify the HERDS survey so that you may also notify us of any such existing arrangements with partnering hospitals. Prior to transferring patients pursuant to any such agreement, hospitals must notify the state of the need to decant patients and where the hospital is planning to send the patients so that the state can ensure adequate regional capacity in sufficient time to remedy the situation and avoid a negative outcome.

The increase in case volume is now predictable by tracking the case and hospitalization numbers. In tracking these numbers, hospitals should be aware of a pending problematic situation. The state must be notified when there is an urgent and critical situation to either myself, or if I am not available to Kristin Proud or to Larry SchwartzPlease make actual contact with the aforementioned individuals if a situation reaches a critical status. Do not consider electronic notification actual notice. In addition, when submitting the HERDS data, please clearly flag when a critical situation is developing within the hospital system.

During the pendency of this emergency, timely and correct HERDS data submission, and notification of critical capacity shortages is essential. HERDS data is an official attestation to the State of New York. The data will be considered an official filing and any false submission is subject to appropriate legal consequences. In addition, you are reminded that both hospital systems and individual hospitals that do not comply with the requirements of the Surge & Flex Regulation, or the Executive Orders issued by the Governor to monitor capacity and plan appropriately, may be subject to significant penalties or license suspension or revocation.

For hospitals and nursing homes, please be further advised that the requirements for PPE stockpile are clear. Nursing homes must have a 60-day stockpile and hospitals a 90-day stockpile of all required PPE categories (gloves, gowns, face shields, goggles, surgical masks and N95), based upon peak usage in April. The emergency stockpile is not to be considered as normal inventory. Facilities must have sufficient PPE for their day-to-day needs above and beyond the stockpile. Utilizing the stockpile for day-to-day supplies defeats the purpose of the stockpile. The stockpile is only to be used in the event an international shortage in PPE occurs, as happened last spring, in which case you will receive notification from the State Department of Health that the stockpile may be used. We expect every facility to be fully compliant with this regulation. Facilities that are not compliant with stockpile requirements received deficiency notices from the Department last week.

 

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