New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) enacted an executive order on Friday to postpone all elective surgeries taking place in hospitals as concerns over coronavirus mount once again.
According to a report in The New York Post, Hochul made the controversial move on Friday where she cited what is thought to be the possibility of staffing shortages in light of the “Omicron” COVID-19 variant from South Africa.
“We’ve taken extraordinary action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and combat this pandemic. However, we continue to see warning signs of spikes this upcoming winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York State, it’s coming,” Hochul said.
Hochul’s move to postpone elective procedures is something that hasn’t been done since COVID-19 was at it’s height in 2020 and was done because of the anticipation of a “spike” in coronavirus cases.
“In preparation, I am announcing urgent steps today to expand hospital capacity and help ensure our hospital systems can tackle any challenges posed by the pandemic as we head into the winter months Hochul.
“The vaccine remains one of our greatest weapons in fighting the pandemic, and I encourage every New Yorker to get vaccinated, and get the booster if you’re fully vaccinated.”
At this point, the newly elected governor is facing several challenges, not the least of which is coping with a state struggling in the face of their former governor, Andrew Cuomo’s, faultering and sometimes outright damaging, leadership.
Hochul, a fellow Democrat, might not have big shoes to fill, but she also has to cope with a state that has had their executive branch used and abused in some of the post egregious and deadly ways possible.
Currently the state of New York’s edict on non-essential procedures is going into effect for hospitals with limited capacity.
According to the Post, that limit is defined as “at or below 10 percent of available staffed bed capacity.”
“The new protocols will take effect on Friday, Dec. 3, and will be re-evaluated based on the latest COVID-19 data on Jan. 15,” the publication reported, giving around six weeks of limited capability for non-essential surgeons.
Hochul’s order was constructed for the purpose of allowing the state to allocate it’s supplies more quickly toward those fighting the pandemic, the governor stated.
The governor is also putting pressure on New York residents to get vaccinated as upstate New York has the highest reported COVID-19 rates, according to the state’s Department of Health.