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ALBANY – New York State’s Department of Health is implementing a “surge and flex” protocol in an attempt to decrease the spread of COVID-19 as cases continue to increase around the state.
The new mandates, announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday, requires hospitals to expand their bed capacity by 25% to further prepare for a future COVID-19 surge.
Hospitals had previously been preparing plans for this action as part of New York’s Winter COVID Plan.
Cuomo also announced that regions that reach critical hospital capacity will be designated as a Red Zone under New York’s micro-cluster strategy.
Specifically, following the implementation of the state’s “surge and flex” program, if a region’s 7-day average hospitalization growth rate shows that the region will reach 90% within the next three weeks, the region will become a Red Zone.
Additionally, the Governor issued a call to all retired doctors and nurses urging them to return to service if they are able to do so.
A registration will be renewed at no cost for an individual who completes the questionnaire through the volunteer portal, set up by the state Department of Health.
Finally, following updated guidance from the CDC, Cuomo announced that if a region’s hospitalization rate does not stabilize in the next five days, additional restrictions will be applied to indoor dining.
If the hospitalization rate does not stabilize in New York City in the next five days, indoor dining will be suspended; if the rate does not stabilize in regions outside New York City, capacity restrictions will be reduced to 25%.
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