State of Health Care Systems Amid Second Wave of COVID-19

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As the state surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 cases, health care systems are working to ensure they're prepared for the future. The effort comes after many health experts say we're experiencing a second wave of coronavirus cases.

The last couple of months have been crucial for different health care systems like Hartford Health Care. The health system tells NBC Connecticut that they have learned a lot of lessons since the beginning of the pandemic back in March.

"We have been able to utilize the information that we learned along the way and disseminate that to all of our campuses over the last eight to nine months," said Dr. Jeff Cohen, the chief clinical operating officer with Hartford Health Care.

Cohen also mentions that Hartford Health Care is prepared as we enter the colder months.

"We almost certainly have enough bed capacity throughout the state in order to take care of the patients we serve now," said Dr. Cohen. "Having said that, we can't be sure, so we're working with the state and the governor's office to potentially set up field hospitals."

According to Cohen, Hartford Health Care has 230 COVID-19 patients spread out through several hospitals.

Hartford Health Care tells NBC Connecticut that they have been able to stockpile personal protective equipment for medical staff on the frontlines.

Yale-New Haven Health system began stockpiling personal protective equipment in advance of a potential surge of new coronavirus cases. The system tells NBC Connecticut that they do have enough beds and ventilators should they see an increase in positive COVID-19 patients.

One area of concern for YNHH is their staff who they say have worked non-stop since the beginning of the pandemic.

"Folks are tired, they haven't seen a break and you know we continue to care for large numbers of other folks with other types of conditions," said Dr. Tom Balcezak, chief clinical officer at Yale-New Haven Health.

The system also mentions that they expect to peak in cases near the end of December.

At Bristol Health, the staff is going through additional COVID-19 training, a move that some health leaders say is necessary.

"Our nursing leaders are learning how to administer meds, how to get back next to a patient and care for a patient," said Albert Peguero, manager of emergency preparedness at Bristol Health. "We're always looking at what staffing models we have and our number one priority is keeping our staff, guests, and visitors safe."

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