NYC Hospitals Move into Next Phase as Viral Peak Passes

May 21, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified May 22, 2020

Hospitals across New York City have moved into a new phase in their fight against the coronavirus. This article from The New York Times examines the number of new patients and the declining daily death toll in the city that was hit hardest by the pandemic in the United States. Many of the refrigerated trucks filled with bodies are now gone. Doctors are no longer pleading for help in makeshift protective gear. The E.R. at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, once overwhelmed, treats hardly a third of the people it did before the outbreak.

“It’s like someone turned off the hose,” said Dr. Eric Wei, an emergency medicine physician and senior vice president of quality for NYC Health & Hospitals. “There’s a huge psychological desire to be like, ‘Whew, we’re through the worst of it,’” he said, but cautioned, “It’s a challenge to fight that human nature to over-relax or say now we can just go back to how things used to be.”

Hospital executives and doctors are leery about what comes next as the city looks to ease out of its lockdown. They aren’t sure whether this is a lull before a wave of new cases, or a “less chaotic slog.” At hospitals, staff members are preparing for both possibilities.

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