Dr. Mendoza: Lack of beds at nursing homes is leading to overwhelmed hospitals

[anvplayer video=”5144148″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Local hospitals have been overwhelmed because of a lack of beds at nursing homes, said Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza in a Tuesday conference.

Leaders at the U of R Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health said their hospitals are all over capacity. Mendoza said that hospitals have delayed discharging some older patients because they’re unable to find beds at nursing homes that can provide post-release care.

The conference came amid a surge in respiratory viruses, especially among children. Pediatric Emergency Department at Rochester General Hospital says they’ve seen more cases of RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus), enterovirus, rhinovirus, and the flu recently.

The full capacity at hospitals may become even more of a challenge in the winter, as COVID and flu cases typically rise.

“As we have experienced in the past two winters a covid surge is also a possibility, this hence the so-called name triple-demic,” Mendoza said. “This means that our limited hospitacl capacity could become even more strained and it could happen very quickly.”

Speakers at the conference included Strong Hospital executive Kathleen Parrinello, Rochester Regional Health medical officer Dr. Robert Mayo, and Strong and Highland Hospital medical officer Dr. Michael Apostolakos.

Parrinello said that Monroe County received a $13 million grant to help them expand the capacity of area nursing homes, including through hiring and training staff.

Dr. Apostolakos said COVID-19 is still a concern for hospitals, but its no longer the only concern with the rise in RSV and the flu. He said people can get the new Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster and the flu shot to protect themselves and their families. Both shots can be taken at the same time.

You can find a COVID-19 booster site near you through the CDC’s website.

[anvplayer video=”5143964″ station=”998131″]