County center may not be needed as overflow facility as curve flattens in Westchester

Westchester has a 3,000-hospital bed capacity, but the number of people hospitalized in the county right now is about 1,000.

News 12 Staff

Apr 23, 2020, 9:54 AM

Updated 1,493 days ago

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As the number of hospitalizations continues to drop, some Westchester officials say the Westchester County Center may not be needed as an overflow facility for coronavirus patients.
The Army Corps of Engineers finished building 110 rooms set up for patients inside the county center earlier this week and inspections started Wednesday.
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But county officials say those beds may never be used since the curve is flattening in the area.
Westchester has a 3,000-hospital bed capacity, but the number of people hospitalized in the county right now is about 1,000.
There has been no overflow reported in area hospitals.  
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was concerned the coronavirus outbreak in New York would cause an overflow at hospitals so he ordered the building of makeshift hospitals at several sites such as the Javits Center in Manhattan and at the county center.    
But a month after schools, businesses, and recreation were shut down, and social distancing orders put in place, numbers show the spread of the virus has slowed in the Hudson Valley.
County officials say that even if the peak never reaches the heights that were feared, building the overflow hospitals was the right thing to do.
"If we had done nothing, if we had bet that we would have a comfortable situation, and we guessed wrong, then we'd have people on cots, in gymnasiums, and unable to get the proper health care, not enough of the equipment needed and then we would have had multiple loss of life and we would have been to blame for not preparing for the worst case scenario," says County Executive George Latimer.
Latimer says that the hospital beds at the county center will be kept in place in case there is a spike in cases and he says it could be used for patients who are not from Westchester.
     


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