Instead of coronavirus patients, Syracuse hospitals swamped with empty beds

Instead of coronavirus patients, Syracuse hospitals swamped with ...

Syracuse, N.Y. — Instead of being swamped with coronavirus patients, Syracuse’s three hospitals are awash with empty beds.
Since March 2, Upstate, St. Joseph’s and Crouse hospitals have seen a 41 percent decline in their combined number of patients, according to the Hospital Executive Council. That planning group tracks average daily patient census at the three city hospitals.
The state directed the hospitals three weeks ago to cancel scheduled elective surgeries and take other steps to make room for an anticipated wave of coronavirus patients. While Onondaga County has seen a spike in the number of people testing positive for the virus, that has not translated into an appreciable increase in hospital admissions.
The three hospitals had 860 patients on March 2 in medical-surgical beds used for routine care and in intensive care and critical care beds. The average daily census for those beds today is 508, a decline of 352 patients.
About 20 percent of the decrease is due to a decline in seasonal influenza activity which had hospitals full in early March. But most of the decline is due to the cancellation of elective surgery, a major money maker for hospitals.
The financial fallout from the decline in patients prompted St. Joe’s to announce last week it will furlough an undetermined number of workers. Crouse revealed it is losing $300,000 a day and cutting expenses.

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