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Covid-19 hit 7 members of one family. Now they're speaking out so others don't go through the same pain.

Covid-19 hit 7 members of one family. Now they're speaking
out so others don't go through the same pain. 1
Medical workers are seen inside the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on November 11. Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Two hospital systems gave Thanksgiving updates on their coronavirus caseloads, both saying that cases are rising in their hospitals but expressing confidence in their ability to deal with the increasing case load.

One hospital system said, the situation now is “nothing approaching what we experienced in March,” and another system echoing that saying they are “well within our ability to handle.” 

Mt. Sinai healthcare system’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Vicki LoPachin, said in a note Wednesday, that coronavirus cases continue to rise across the Mt. Sinai health system but that the current number of cases “is still within our projections, and well within our ability to handle.”

 “Our COVID-19 inpatient census remains at less than 10 percent of what we saw at the peak in the spring,” LoPachin said. “And we do not believe we will ever see anything close to those prior numbers.”

Dr. Craig Smith, chair of the department of surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, which is also affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian’s hospital system, said in a message Thursday that the new Covid-19 case curve is “unequivocally positive” but nothing approaching “what we experienced in March.”

Smith’s candid updates during the heat of the coronavirus crisis in New York gained a large following in the spring. 

Smith said NYP and CU have a “meticulous plan” for staffing changes if the surge in cases increases quickly, and that at this time, the systems are not close to a level where non-urgent surgeries would need to be canceled in order to deal with an influx of cases.

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Smith also said the institutions are in the process of planning “thorough plans” for vaccine distribution.

On Wednesday morning, the system had 157 Covid-19-positive patients admitted to their hospitals, 25 of whom were in critical care.

LoPachin warned Mt. Sinai healthcare workers to “relax, recharge and prepare for the work ahead” as coronavirus case numbers are expected to increase, as some ignore warnings against gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We know that many people will ignore the warnings and gather unsafely with their families tomorrow, and that the patients with new COVID-19 infections resulting from those gatherings will arrive in our hospitals in the next few weeks,” LoPachin said. “Your family needs you, your colleagues need you, and your patients need you, now more than ever.”

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