The latest COVID-19 surge is beginning to overwhelm hospital systems across the state and Mohawk Valley Health System is no exception.

In the wake of the announcement Wednesday by Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente that 264 new cases were added and a record number of hospitalized county residents, one hundred nineteen, the MVHS CEO Diane Stromstad released a video to inform the public of conditions at the hospital.

The purpose of the video is to update the community on key issues related to the resurgence and that includes acknowledgement of staffing challenges and PPE supply, among others. She kicked off the video message by thanking the tremendous work being done by MVHS staff and front line workers. She calls those individuals the "real heroes of the Pandemic."

The first topic she covered was the issue of staff shortages. Stromstad said this is not a unique problem to MVHS. Hospitals across the nation are facing the same shortages and the process of recruiting new or additional health care workers is proving difficult. She assures employees and community members that her administrative staff and HR department are diligently working on hiring additional support.

Another issue Stromstad addressed was the Personal Protective Equipment supply at the hospital. Stromstad says, "MVHS reviews its supply of PPE (masks, gloves, gowns, etc.) every single day, and New York State (NYS) requires that all hospitals in NYS, including MVHS, have a 90-day supply of PPE. Right now MVHS has ample supplies."

She also addressed the hospital capacity topic, as addressed by Governor Cuomo earlier in the week. Stromstad maintains that there is a "surge plan" in place and at this time the hospital system has not eliminated elective surgeries and procedures, which is a good thing.

She also emphasized the need for everyone to come together during these trying times to work together to take care of one another and slow the spread. She says, "Wear your mask, wash your hands, maintain social distancing and avoid indoor gatherings. The healthcare workers at MVHS are counting on the community to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases and decrease hospitalizations."

You can watch Stromstad's full message in the video above.

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