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COVID update 12-7-20

Posted on: 12/07/2020

William F. Mills, M.D., MMM, CPE, FAAPL, FAAFP
Chief Medical Officer
Upper Allegheny Health System

Upper Allegheny Health System today released the following statement and update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and Gov. Cuomo’s announcement Monday instructing hospitals across New York state to increase capacity by 25%:

Our plans to deal with COVID-19 remain consistent with what we faced in the spring, focusing on four key issues: personnel, equipment and supplies, testing capacity and space planning.

For Upper Allegheny Health System (Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital) we have the capability to increase capacity within our hospital system by 25%. The governor’s directive is not new. In the spring, we increased it by 50% as required by New York state.

UAHS teams continue to review preparedness plans in the event of a winter surge in patients at BRMC and OGH. Currently, both hospitals have capacity for both medical/surgical patients and COVID-19 patients. BRMC has opened a dedicated COVID-19 patient care unit to segment patients in the event of further upticks, similar to OGH, which has had a dedicated COVID-19 patient care unit since the beginning of the pandemic. Another BRMC hospital patient care unit will serve non-COVID inpatients.

As we have throughout the pandemic, we plan for the worst and hope for the best. Like hospitals everywhere, we are waiting to see if there will be a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19.

With the ICU capability at OGH through its intensivist program (specialists in critical care), we don’t anticipate having to send patients to Buffalo nor do we expect patients from Erie County (NY).

At this time, elective surgery at both BRMC and OGH continue.

We are fully aware of Kaleida Health’s planning efforts in Buffalo to increase capacity, including re-opening beds, adding additional ICU beds, converting old hospital rooms and utilizing ambulatory surgery space.

We are in continual communication with Kaleida Health relative to COVID-19 patient status and bed capacity. Across the history of our relationship with Kaleida Health, we have moved patients between facilities depending on patient need and the level of specialized care needed for individual patients.

BRMC and OGH have a full 90-day supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), meeting state requirements (NY). Supplies are available at BRMC and OGH and also in Buffalo, where UAHS and Kaleida Health PPE is warehoused.

Our priority remains protecting our staff so they can protect patients. Staff at all hospitals have been impacted by COVID. Over the course of the pandemic, nearly all BRMC and OGH employees who tested positive for COVID-19 have gone through quarantine and have returned to work. As directed by the New York State Health Department and Gov. Cuomo, we are reaching out to retirees and other sources to compile a team of health professionals to serve as reserves in the event of a surge.

As always, we offer our deepest gratitude to our outstanding staff and physicians who have shown day in and day out that they are dedicated to the patients and the community we serve.

For your own protection, and out of respect for healthcare workers caring for patients, wear your masks, social distance, wash your hands and avoid gatherings.


Inpatients: 11 confirmed cases currently in-house (2 in ICU, 9 in medical unit)
4 patients in-house that are under investigation
9 additional patients were tested but are negative

Inpatients: 16 confirmed cases currently in-house (4 in ICU, 12 in medical unit)
4 patients in-house that are under investigation
5 additional patients were tested but are negative

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