Local health care workers brace for unprecedented surge in COVID-19 patients

Hudson Valley health care workers are bracing for an unprecedented surge in patients as the coronavirus crisis intensifies, with reports of dwindling supplies.

News 12 Staff

Mar 30, 2020, 9:24 PM

Updated 1,519 days ago

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Hudson Valley health care workers are bracing for an unprecedented surge in patients as the coronavirus crisis intensifies, with reports of dwindling supplies.
The health care workers from Westchester Medical Center, ORMC and Montgomery Nursing Home in Orange County are sharing their experiences from the front lines by phone and on social media. 

They are pleading for protective gear and backup as the number of cases and deaths rise - and as staff themselves contract the virus.
In Montgomery, officials confirm two nursing home workers have tested positive for coronavirus.  An outbreak at the facility killed two longtime residents and infected 16 more. 
The director for the Montgomery nursing home denies that personal protection equipment is in short supply, and says it's receiving shipments from the Office of Emergency Management, despite a staff member reaching out to News 12 and saying they're reusing PPE by bleaching it between shifts.
At ORMC, workers say they're being exposed with N95 masks only supplied for ICU and COVID-19 unit staff, even though cases are coming in through other departments.

A representative for ORMC wouldn't say whether or not the hospital is short on PPE, but said it's doing everything possible during the pandemic to keep patients and staff safe. 
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