Focus: Infection Control

20 years of closing hospitals in N.Y. hampers capacity during pandemic

May 21, 2020

When the Covid-19 pandemic overwhelmed New York healthcare facilities at least part of the blame lies in decisions to eliminate 20,000 hospital beds over the past two decades., according to an article on the Commercial Observer website.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned New York could need between 55,000 and 110,000 hospital beds to treat COVID-19 patients through the end of April. But the N.Y. only had 53,000 licensed hospital beds to begin with, down from the 73,931 in 2000. 

By the end of April, 41,316 New Yorkers would seek treatment for coronavirus symptoms at a hospital and 17,589 residents died from the disease, according to the article.

At the apex of the pandemic, around April 12, hospitals were treating close to 19,000 COVID patients.

Read the article.


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