State Senator Joseph Addabbo is pointing to the 13 patients who died of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period at Elmhurst Hospital as a stark reminder of the need to continue to stay at home and continue to practice social distancing.
Christopher Miller, a spokesman for NYC Health + Hospitals, which runs the public hospital, said “Elmhurst is at the center of the crisis, and it’s the number one priority of our public hospital system right now.”
Addabbo is using the situation as a teachable moment for Queens residents.
“Although more medical staff and supplies are being sent to the hospital each day, this is a worrying situation that is only going to get worse,” Addabbo said. “As more people test positive for the coronavirus, more of our hospitals’ beds will be taken up and the city’s death toll will rise because we just don’t have the means to handle the increased number of patients that will need medical care. That is why all New Yorkers need to adhere to the strict stay at home and social distancing policies to reduce the spread of this virus, especially to the most vulnerable of society like the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.”
Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee said the hospital is at the center of the rapidly-developing public health crisis.
“Frontline workers and medical professionals are moving mountains around the clock with extraordinary acts of heroism, using all the tools and resources available to save each and every single life. Queens is deeply grateful,” Lee said. “The loss of lives is jarring, and we must do everything in our power to prevent and prepare for future surges on the horizon. Our trajectory depends entirely on not just what we do, but when we do it. This is precisely why the governor and mayor have taken strong measures to stem the tide and may necessitate even more aggressive measures in this race against time.”
Like Addabbo, Lee urged Queens residents to stay in their homes.
“Do your part to help bend the curve. Stay at home and take all available precautions, Boredom is a luxury,” Lee said. “Our ability to prevent as many deaths as possible hinges upon staying ahead of the curve. This is humanity’s shared war against a global pandemic. Battles around the world and across the country have warned us of this and future trajectories, and it can only be disrupted by the actions we take together and take now.”