New York State Approves “splitting” Ventilators

Coronavirus

New York State is trying a creative new strategy to deal with their expected shortage of ventilators as they combat COVID-19.

The state has just approved a plan Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been talking about in his recent daily briefings, which is “splitting” ventilators, or using one machine to care for two patients that need it. The plan to try it was just approved in the last 24 hours.

As cases in New York swell over 37,000 with 5,327 hospitalizations, including 385 deaths, Cuomo said New York has to improvise how they’re going to deal with his expected need of 40,000 machines. He said the state currently has access to 17,000.

He also discussed a plan to transport patients overcrowding downstate hospitals to less crowded facilities upstate. He said distributing the load across the state may become necessary.

The state will have to change their approach to the budget, as well. With an expected revenue loss between 10 and 15 billion dollars, Cuomo said the projected revenue loss would have to be accounted for on April 1st, the due date of the budget. The only problem is that the state doesn’t know how much revenue they’ve lost yet.

The plan is to project very low in the budget, allocate that money, then provide quarterly updates to accurately reflect the loss of revenue as it becomes clearer.

He also addressed the lack of test kits in some upstate hospitals, saying he’d be able to provide only a few days’ supply, but isn’t going to distribute more than that.

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