first_imgOnondaga County will designate Syracuse University’s Manley Field House as its first “surge site” hospital, County Executive Ryan McMahon announced in his press briefing on Thursday afternoon.The announcement comes three days after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered hospitals within the state to increase capacity by 50% or more, if possible. Once the hospitals submitted their plans, McMahon said, the county analyzed what an overflow plan might look like.“Our hospital infrastructure is the same it was yesterday, as the day before: we’re in good shape. We have plenty of ICU beds,” McMahon said. “But that does not mean we are not planning for a surge in our community for a worst-case scenario.”Manley Field House, built in the 1960s, is currently used as a practice facility by some Syracuse athletic teams and also houses administrative offices for the athletic department. With all spring sports canceled amid the spread of the novel coronavirus, the indoor FieldTurf practice area, along with other workout areas, likely sit empty.While McMahon acknowledged the facility needs improvements before it can house patients, he said “you can get a lot of beds in there” and that it’d be health commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta’s decision whether to house patients infected by the coronavirus or unrelated patients in Manley.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“The key is we want to build up the infrastructure so that the doctors can make that decision if they have to,” McMahon said.COVID-19 — a respiratory disease that’s infected over 82,400 and caused over 1,170 deaths in the United States — is caused by the novel coronavirus, and New York has reported 37,259 positive cases of coronavirus and 385 deaths as of Thursday alone.In Onondaga County, the case total rose to 111 Thursday, largely thanks to 675 recent test results, McMahon said. Sixteen individuals in the county are currently hospitalized due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, and, of those patients, 12 are in “good” condition while four are “in a fight,” McMahon said. The county also confirmed its first death related to the coronavirus on Tuesday.If the need arises, more surge sites could be designated, McMahon said — referring to those steps as phase one, two and three. For now, Manley is the first step.“Certainly there will have to be some improvements made to it specific to needs of a hospital, but those are things our emergency management team’s working on right now with them and playing that forward,” McMahon said. Comments Published on March 26, 2020 at 5:49 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @CraneAndrew Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more