Chautauqua County Hospital Diverts Emergency Room Patients Overnight

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DUNKIRK – Chautauqua County’s executive is addressing concerns around a local hospital reaching capacity overnight and the local effort to vaccinate elderly residents against COVID-19 in the county.

Executive PJ Wendel, speaking with WNY News Now‘s Justin Gould on our daily “News Now @Noon” show, says that Brooks-TLC Hospital in Dunkirk reaching capacity was not COVID-19 specific, but rather, the medical provider had just simply reached their threshold.

All non-life-threatening calls were to be diverted to nearby hospitals, and as of this morning, Wendel says all of the hospital capacities are back to normal capacities.

“It is a matter of keeping the system working so everyone knows that there isn’t any stress,” he said.


DUNKIRK – A northern Chautauqua County Hospital had to divert some incoming emergency room patients overnight after the hospital hit maximum capacity.

According to the New York State Department of Health, an EMS surge diversion was issued for Brooks-TLC Hospital in Dunkirk from 7 p.m. Tuesday to 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

The notice says only patients who are unstable that cannot be safely transported by EMS to an alternate hospital should be transported to Brooks.

A surge diversion does not mean the hospital emergency room is closed; but rather, the current patient load exceeds the hospital’s ability to treat additional patients promptly.

Hospital officials say the Central Avenue facility was at 100% capacity overnight, with a lack of staff and bed capacity blamed. reports in the last seven-days the hospital used 90 percent of their ICU beds and 71 percent of inpatient beds.

The site, which is run by the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, says UPMC Chautauqua Hospital is at 32 percent occupancy for its ICU beds, while the medical center used 117 percent of its inpatient beds.

Our newsroom has a call into UPMC Chautauqua Hospital’s Public Relations Department to explain more about the hospital’s capacity.


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