At New York’s hospitals, staff brace for another COVID wave: ‘We know what’s coming’
Concerns about staff and protective gear shortages rise along with an influx of new patients, even as hospitalizations and deaths remain far shy of the spring wave.
As the number of COVID-19 cases nationally reaches new heights and infections surge locally, New York City hospitals are seeing nothing like the influx of patients they treated during the spring outbreak — but they’re bracing for anything.
“Everybody’s terrified. We just think it’s going to be a big wave,” said Dr. Leonard Berkowitz, chief of infectious diseases at the Brooklyn Hospital Center. “The weather’s getting cold, people are going to be inside more, the holidays are coming up and people are going to ignore the rules about not getting together. We’re very concerned.”
As of Thursday, 746 COVID patients were being cared for in city hospitals — a number rising rapidly yet still far short of the 12,000-plus at April’s peak, when more than 1,500 patients arrived daily in desperate shape.