Burstein, Russo Comment on WNY COVID-19 Preparedness

Updated April 3, 2020

In Buffalo and its suburbs, the number of coronavirus cases has been doubling every three days. Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, says Erie County likely has 10 times more cases than reported. The increasing number of cases comes as hospitals in the region have faced downsizing and consolidation in recent years. Before the coronavirus crisis, there were about 275 permanent intensive-care beds — about half of them at three major hospitals in Erie County. So far, about one-fourth of those beds are occupied by coronavirus patients, according to Erie County’s health commissioner, Gale R. Burstein, MD, who is a clinical professor of pediatrics.