Snowstorm Challenges Hospitals Amid COVID-19

Pretreated sidewalks and backup generators among the measures to handle snow

December 21, 2020

Nature doesn’t care about a pandemic, and it certainly doesn’t care whether grounds departments at hospitals in the Northeastern United States are prepared for winter weather. The indifference was clear as the region’s hospitals, already struggling with a surging second wave of COVID-19 cases and coordinating the distribution of vaccines to combat the illness, last week had to deal with a massive winter storm.

Hospitals across the Northeast had to prepare for a winter storm with the potential to bring accident victims to their doors, according to The New York Times.

“For us, it’s part of our normal snow emergency preparations,” said Michael Maron, president and chief executive of Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, N.J. He noted that his hospital had multiple sources of backup power, and he was confident there was enough capacity in the I.C.U. Crews were pre-treating roads to enable smooth hospital access, and many elective surgeries were delayed until Friday to encourage people to stay home, he said.

In Philadelphia, staff at the 54-bed Pennypack Nursing and Rehabilitation Center are prepared with a backup generator. 

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