Bassett Medical Center Prepared For Surge of COVID-19 Cases


UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — “We have been preparing really since March when this started. Preparations in March are really paying dividends that COVID is resurgent in this area.” – William LeCates, MD President, Bassett Medical Center

Doctor William LeCates, President of Bassett Medical Center says they followed the state’s hospital bed expansion, and have increased capacity by 50%. That amounts to roughly 100 extra hospital beds. They also have a special unit in the with negative pressure airflow to help keep COVID patients and staff safe.

“We sort of have levels and a plan to respond to growing numbers of COVID patients. Today we’re sort of at our next level up compared to the more quieter times in July and August.” – William LeCates, MD President, Bassett Medical Center

Even with months of preparations, Bassett still has their share of challenges.

“I think the biggest challenge is looking at the whole comprehensive range of needs for someone who is hospitalized with COVID. There’s specialty equipment, medications, engineering work on the hospital, the laboratory is much, much stretched beyond its usual activities.” – William LeCates, MD President, Bassett Medical Center

Currently they have about 20 patients admitted with COVID-19, and around 5 are in critical condition. LeCates says making changes to accommodate COVID patients wasn’t easy, but they’re ready for whatever’s thrown at them next.

“We’re ready for that challenge, it will be difficult I wouldn’t diminish that but we are prepared for that next step.” – William LeCates, MD President, Bassett Medical Center

LeCates encourages people to do the best that they can by wearing a mask, social distancing and practicing good hand hygiene.

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