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COVID-19 in New York: How we’re responding and how you can help

New York’s hospitals and health systems are urgently responding to the evolving coronavirus outbreak.

 

The staff at the Healthcare Association of New York State and at regional associations throughout New York are working 24/7 to support New York healthcare providers’ response to COVID-19. Our hospitals, health systems, nursing homes and other member providers are experiencing serious challenges – workforce, supplies, testing and more – and we’re working together to solve them.

Despite these challenges, our members are responding forcefully to COVID-19. New York’s hospitals and nursing homes have enacted their emergency preparedness plans and surge protocols, adapted their spaces to serve influxes of patients with COVID-19 and instituted numerous policies to protect patients and workers. They are facing this challenge head-on, and we cannot be prouder of their efforts.

New York’s state and federal policymakers are providing critical support

Gov. Cuomo has shown extraordinary leadership in the wake of this outbreak. His efforts and those of many state agencies to date have helped New York make significant strides in increasing New Yorkers’ access to care. Our state legislators have quickly taken up important legislation to help New Yorkers through this public health emergency and protect our healthcare workers.

Likewise, we are tremendously grateful for the support of New York’s congressional delegation. Our senators and representatives have taken action to assist patients and hospitals in this time of need, and they are continuing to push forward solutions that would help in the weeks and months ahead.

We need your help to keep “flattening the curve”

COVID-19 is overwhelming parts of our healthcare system. We cannot tell yet if we’ve hit the apex in the NYC metropolitan area – the point at which our healthcare system is hardest hit – and COVID-19 cases continue to increase in many parts of the state. We know that letting down our guard too soon would allow COVID-19 to spread dramatically throughout New York. We must keep doing everything we can to reduce the number of people who need hospital care and ensure hospitals have the supplies and staff they need.

Many people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms at all. They can pass it on to others without knowing they ever had it. That’s why everyone who can stay home needs to stay home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary in-person interactions.

If you are worried you have COVID-19 or have been exposed, remember to:

  • contact your doctor or local health department to get advice on what you should do;
  • consider telemedicine as an effective way to speak to a provider without leaving your house; and
  • manage mild and moderate cases of COVID-19 at home as they do not require hospital care.

By following the guidance above, you can help preserve hospital resources for those who are critically ill or most at risk.

The days and weeks ahead will continue to be challenging, and we owe our utmost gratitude to the healthcare workers on the front lines. Their unwavering commitment to their patients and communities has saved and continues to save lives. The aligned focus of our policymakers, the public, HANYS and the leaders of our hospitals is on saving every life we can. We will prevail through this unprecedented crisis more united and dedicated to public health and patient care than ever before.