Mark Cye, CEO of Orleans County’s only hospital, kindly took time this morning to answer questions from a reporter with the WNYObserver pertaining to COVID-19.
Question 1: How is Medina Memorial Hospital holding up during this pandemic?
Answer: “I think for every hospital it is a challenge but at Orleans Community Health we have all banded together and have worked as a team and started implementing some procedures that will help keep the community and the staff safe. We are all preparing for the worse and know this is probably just the beginning.”
Question 2: What are the best measures a citizen can take to avoid contracting COVID-19?
Answer: “First point would be if you don’t need to go out don’t. Follow the 6-foot rule and most importantly use proper hygiene, always wash your hands.”
Question 3: How is bed availability?
Answer: “Right now, our count is low but if the numbers hit to what the government thinks it’s going to, bed availability will be tight. We have been able to add additional beds within our facility. The key component will be having the ability to staff those beds and care for the patient.”
Question 4: I know in Niagara County they decided to reopen the Newfane Hospital for asymptomatic quarantines. Do we have any similar plans?
Answer: “We would be utilizing our old Comprehensive Medical unit which has been closed for a couple years now.”
Question 5: Are there any facilities being considered for an overflow situation as we continue to weather this nationwide pandemic?
Answer: “Right now, we are trying to keep the space in one location and that would be to utilize the hospital. It is easier to manage the patients that way and would allow us to not require as much staff.”
Question 6: Any word on antivirals…effective types/arrival of shipments?
Answer: “As of now, there is no approved antivirals for the treatment of the disease. There are some experimental/clinical trials but nothing conclusive yet.”
Question 7: Precautions your staff is taking to avoid contracting COVID-19?
Answer: “We have all been reeducating ourselves on proper PPE protocol as well as making sure we use proper hygiene. Also, by eliminating doing elective radiological procedures and surgical procedures it reduced the risk of exposure to the staff.”
Question 8: Anything specific you’d like to share with the community as a Healthcare Professional?
Answer: “I think that everyone just has to be aware of what’s going on. This is something that should not be taken lightly as we have seen what has been going on around the world as well as in our own state. But they also have to remain calm and not panic.”