NEW HAVEN, Conn. — As COVID cases rise exponentially, Yale-New Haven Health leaders predict we are at the same point we were in when COVID first hit Connecticut in March.
“We are heading into what is going to seem like a long, cold, and dark winter and some of our forecasting models are showing that if this trend doesn’t reverse itself we will be seeing a peak sometime toward the end of December or the first of the New Year,” says Dr. Thomas Balcezak, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer of Yale-New Haven Health. “That’s daunting considering that it’s only in the first part of November.”
There 210 patients are hospitalized throughout the Yale network right now which is more than double two weeks ago. Cases have risen in Bridgeport, Lawrence and Memorial, Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Westerly. On a positive note, the death rate is not climbing proportionately to the number of cases.
“Our treatment protocols have improved,” says Dr. Balcezak. “The science, nationally, internationally, has gotten better.
Doctors are using steroid treatments and know how to better manage patients who are on ventilators, meaning 5% of patients are on ventilators currently compared to 15% back in March.
Yet as science improves, hospitals say healthcare workers are given little local and federal aid.
“At the beginning of this most people were kind of hunkered down, everyone was scared of the virus, they stayed home schools closed in CT and you all lived through that,” says Marna P. Borgstrom, CEO of Yale-New Haven Health. “Our staff has been there throughout this time when we were all terrified of the unknown in February, March, April, May. They came and they cared for unprecedented numbers of patients with this virus and they did a phenomenal job putting themselves and their families, quite frankly, at a much higher risk than most people were.”
Yale-New Haven Health received 300 million dollars from the federal CARES Act which took their operating loss down to 150 million.
They said the next aid coming from Congress needs to be substantial.