Hochul: Order boosts hospital capacity ahead of new variant

Hospital hallway
Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-26 18:18:20-05

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced an executive order aimed at boosting hospital capacity ahead of a potential winter spike in COVID-19 cases.

She announced the new protocol Friday amid warnings about a new and highly transmissible coronavirus variant known as “omicron,” which has not yet been detected in New York.

Hochul's order allows the state health department to limit non-essential surgeries, if needed, to ensure capacity.

The governor said the order also will allow the state to acquire critical supplies more quickly.

The move comes amid growing concerns about hospital beds and staffing.