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Local hospitals contending with rise in COVID infections

Dr. Nancy Nielsen MD
Sandra Kicman/University at Buffalo photo
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Dr. Nancy Nielsen MD

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, local hospitals were under siege in dealing with an overflow of infected patients. As infection rates increased, hospitals scrambled to provide appropriate care to the sick. Numbers are spiking again, though care providers seem to have the situation under control.

Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is monitoring the developments. While hospitals have many patients with COVID-19, Nielsen says about half are "incidental," meaning their infections were discovered from tests taken prior to hospital admission. In such cases, regional hospitals are following guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control.

"The recommendation is that whenever possible, a COVID positive patient ought to be in a single room using respiratory precautions," Nielsen said during a discussion with WBFO. Patients with COVID are occasionally roomed with other infected patients. Overall, it hasn't been a problem.

Nielsen cited research which examined similar situations in South Korea.

"That study showed that if you took COVID patients and put them in, in a shared room, they did just as well clinically, as those in private rooms."