Area hospitals bracing for what could be influx of coronavirus cases over the winter months


When faced with the possibility of getting more Coronavirus patients checking-in this winter, area hospital leaders tell me they’re hoping for the best but they’re preparing for the worst.

For most of the area’s hospitals, adjusting their visitation policy is the number one step in preparing for a possible surge in COVID patients in area hospitals. 

“We’ve also, particularly over the last couple of weeks, we’ve really tightened down the screening of  at the entrance ways,” Joseph A. Ruffolo President & CEO Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center said.

Catholic Health opted to suspend all visitation until further notice with the exception of end of life, maternity, and special needs patients. Niagara Falls Medical Center and Kaleida Health have similar restrictions. They’re allowing one visitor at a time, a reduction in visiting hours.

Some hospitals have already seen an increase in patients. Catholic Health is currently caring for about 50 COVID patients and Kaleida is caring for about 21 COVID patients. 

Mike Mineo, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital says, “we knew this was going to happen, it’s been said all along that there was going to be a second wave. If you look at the epidemiology with the disease, or history with the Spanish flu, we knew this, so when we built our infrastructure, when we built our plans in the spring, we never deconstructed them we keep the meetings going so when it started increase earlier in the week just implemented the plan as we planned to do.”

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