Albany County is reporting a record number of new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period. County Executive Dan McCoy on Tuesday announced 351 new cases and two virus-related deaths. The county’s death toll since the pandemic started is at least 256. With remaining hospital capacity in the Capital Region around 25 percent, McCoy says St. Peter’s Health Partners will staff a 160-bed section of the county’s Shaker Place nursing home to handle COVID overflow from hospitals.
“We have 160 beds that are empty now in our nursing home tower,” McCoy said. “I want to make this clear. Our tower has a separate entrance now. Our tower is separated from our current nursing home. We have two separate ventilation systems so they’re not even tied into the new nursing home.”
Dr. James Reed, president and CEO of St. Peter’s, says the area will treat patients deemed to be “non-infectious” who don’t need to be in an acute care setting.
“Right now, we don’t need to do that,” Reed said. “I want to say to everybody, our current capacity utilization, we can handle and we have additional surge plans in the hospitals that we can move to should we push up against that 85 percent number. But that said, having this backstop for us is extremely critical because we should don’t know what that number is going to be next week or the following week.”
Still, Reed says having enough hospital staff remains a concern across the region, but surge planning includes redeploying workers.