He said: “Public health planners have anticipated a surge in the winter.”

But the local health system says it has enough capacity to handle the recent increase in cases, especially in Lower State. According to state data, the city’s 7-day positive rate is approximately 2%.

Dr. Bruce Farber, director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Northwell Health, said: “We are not even close to the capacity we saw last spring.” As of Monday, the average capacity of the Long Island Health System was 82%. Farber said that most recent COVID cases are people who have not been vaccinated, but there is no need to reduce any services.

Dr. Laura Iavicoli, assistant vice president of emergency management at NYC Health + Hospitals, said that this ease is largely related to experience.

“This looks like the beginning of the fourth wave,” Iavicoli said. “Given our model, it looks like we will not exceed two-thirds of the third wave this summer.”

Dr. Brian Bosworth, chief medical officer of NYU Langone Health, said that Governor Kathy Hochul has declared a state of emergency, allowing hospitals to implement flexible response strategies. And cancel optional procedures when needed, which may be less relevant to state hospitals.

Bosworth said: “The governor said that she hopes that this flexibility can help hospitals that face the risk of insufficient clinical space to adjust capacity.” “This seems to mainly involve institutions in the north.”

The local health system also stated that they have sufficient supplies and personal protective equipment to cope with the current and future surges.

Dr. Bernard Cummings, director of infection prevention medicine at the Mount Sinai Health System, said the agency has learned from the shortage experienced during the spring 2020 surge, and supply has been stable since last summer.

However, the local agency is concerned about the performance of the omicron variant in the city.

“It’s too early to say that omicron will cause a surge,” Lee said. He said that although early reports indicate that its transmission capacity may be improved compared to Delta, it is not clear whether it can outperform other spreading variants.

“People were worried that the episilon variant seen in California would spread across the country, but it was defeated by Delta,” he pointed out.

Iavicoli said: “One thing is obvious, the recent rise is more than 99% of Delta.” She said that the spread of this mutation has not ended yet, adding that New Yorkers need to be vigilant about wearing masks when entering winter.

If omicron does cause another surge, the health system is starting to prepare. Bosworth said New York University Langone is considering increasing the number of variants sequenced for its positive tests. Camins said the pathogen monitoring team at Mount Sinai is expanding the capacity of its monitoring laboratory to detect omicron variants earlier.

Iavicoli said that bed capacity is still the primary consideration and has distributed a system-wide briefing on how to turn the beds unit by unit for COVID use. Similarly, a Northwell spokeswoman said that Northwell has a manual available to expand the number of beds to more than 5,000 beds last spring.

Bosworth said that it is never too early to start preparing the omicron variant, adding that it may already be on our shores.

This story first appeared in our sister publication “Crane’s New York Business”.


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