Chief Medical Officers say hospitals still full as COVID cases decline | WHEC.com

Chief Medical Officers say hospitals still full as COVID cases decline

Raven Brown
Created: June 02, 2021 06:19 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As County COVID-19 case numbers and state positivity rates continue to decline, area hospitals are cautioning we're not out of the woods yet.

COVID numbers have greatly improved recently, so much so, Monroe County officials have stopped including hospitalizations and ICU numbers in daily updates.

But doctors said while they are seeing fewer COVID patients in the building they are still busy and packed with those who are not vaccinated.

“We are still seeing anywhere from two to five patients admitted a day with COVID and the vast majority are unvaccinated,” University of Rochester Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Apostolakos said.

The main focus for the hospital groups throughout the pandemic has been capacity for patients.

Dr. Apostolakos said they are seeing about 70 patients in the hospital admitted with COVID-19. At their peak, he said they had about 300 patients, 400 as a system and right now as a system they have about 100.

Dr. Apostolakos said that still represents about almost 10% of their inpatient beds.

“So with non-COVID illness patients returning with this extra 10 % it's kept the hospital quite full and quite stressed,” Dr. Apostolakos said.

Rochester Regional Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Mayo said that picture of COVID is similar in the Rochester Regional Health hospitals.

“Presently our system census is about 55 inpatients with COVID. There are still a number of them in the ICU on ventilators quite ill it's important that no one forgets that COVID is still a very serious illness,” Dr. Mayo said.

Nearly 50% of the region's population over age 12 is fully vaccinated, and Monroe County's seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases has dropped from more than 200 on May 1 to less than 70 on June 1.

Dr. Mayo said they are down almost 10% to 15% of what the peak was but both said more vaccination is required for hospital relief. 

“Patients who were admitted to the hospital are still sick, still going to the ICU and unfortunately some will still die. The vaccine is almost 100% effective at preventing illness, hospitalization and death,” Dr. Apostolakos said.

He said as for who is being admitted now, it's now those who are younger, has reduced significantly and it's directly related to vaccination. 

They tell me at URMC about 80% of staff is vaccinated and over 70% vaccinated at Rochester Regional. 

They both said at this point there are no plans to make it mandatory but they are working with the health department with any possible changes and are continuing to educate those 12 and up to get the vaccine.


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