Hospital fine-tunes virus response


By Jim Poole

Cobleskill Regional Hospital is fine-tuning its COVID-19 response––and adding to it.
Personnel are evaluating people who fear they have the virus at an outdoor tent near the Bassett Clinic next to the hospital, though no virus cases have been diagnosed, hospital President and CEO Eric Stein said Monday.
And, he added, as the virus apparently spreads quickly, there’s something new every day or hour.
“It’s kind of like a tennis match,” Mr. Stein said. “Shots get lobbed at you from different angles, and you have to lob them back.”
The situation is running smoothly, and Mr. Stein credited not only hospital staff but also the Bassett Network, with which Cobleskill Regional is affiliated.
Following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s mandate, the hospital is increasing its rooms dedicated to COVID-19 patients. CRH has four such rooms now––with controlled air and filtering––and Mr. Stein wasn’t sure how many would be added.
There are no patients in the four rooms, he stressed.
The process for evaluation continues. Anyone who may have COVID symptoms should call 607-547-5555 first, before going to the hospital. A health-care professional will advise the caller whether to go to the outside, drive-through tent at the clinic for personal evaluation.
If another exam is necessary, the person can go to a room outside the hospital for further screening. After that, if necessary, the patient would be admitted to one of the four now-empty rooms.
So far, people have been diagnosed only with the regular flu, not COVID-19, Mr. Stein said.
“A fair number have a spring cold or allergies,” he added, “but getting evaluated for those alleviates a lot of tension.”
Mr. Stein emphasized that anyone suspecting he or she might have the symptoms should call the 607 number listed above.
“That’s the starting point for everything to get people to the right level of care,” he said.
“And the best advice is to follow the rules: Social distancing, washing your hands, and if you feel sick, stay home.”