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Thursday, April 9 Coronavirus in Connecticut

CEO: Danbury Hospital stressed but not in crisis over coronavirus

588的彩舒适danbury — from the moment the state’s of coronavirus was confirmed here on march 6, danbury hospital has acted like an advanced warning system for connecticut, as officials gauge the best way to contain the infectious outbreak.

588的彩舒适when gov. ned lamont told a primetime monday that danbury hospital was at capacity, and that 200 nurses had been furloughed over exposure to covid-19, it conveyed the sense to some that danbury hospital was in crisis.

the truth is danbury hospital still has available beds — and the 200 furloughed staff are not just nurses at danbury hospital but also doctors and non-clinical health workers from norwalk hospital and vassar brothers medical center in poughkeepsie, n.y., which are part of a $2 billion network called .

588的彩舒适on tuesday the ceo of nuvance spoke out in detail about the pandemic that has kept danbury hospital in the headlines, and called the governor’s inaccuracy an “innocent mistake.”

“it was well-intentioned because earlier on monday i was on a call with him and other ceos of health systems and he was making reference to our experience being the canary in the coal mine for connecticut,” said dr. john murphy, president and ceo of nuvance. “i shared with him that we did have a significant number of infected patients, but our hospitals have the ability to repurpose parts of their facilities that are not actively housing patients.”

the furloughed staff, most of whom have been symptom-free and some of whom are poised to return from their 14-day quarantine, represent 1.5 percent of 13,000 employees.

murphy said he has not reached the point where shortages at danbury, norwalk or vassar brothers are acute enough to shift staff from nuvance’s other four hospitals.

he had a message about managing anxiety and stress for other hospitals that confirm a case of coronavirus.

“what i have seen as each hospital experiences its first confirmed case is the spike in the level of anxiety,” said murphy, who said nuvance hospital have handled 12 coronavirus cases. “but as the days go by, the staff realizes that they have been treating infectious diseases professionally for their careers, and although the risks aren’t zero, if they follow proper protocol and work together we will get through it.”

meanwhile, danbury hospital has changed the way it does everyday business, murphy said.

the hospital has postponed all elective surgery and is discharging patients as prudently as possible to make more beds available.

this week, the hospital launched a coronavirus testing site, where patients who have a doctor’s order can request a test. on tuesday, more than 100 people were tested, murphy said.

the hospital is also giving health screenings to employees coming onto the campus each shift.

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earlier this week, danbury and other nuvance hospitals established a , making exceptions for women giving birth, and parents of children in a pediatric unit.

588的彩舒适the coronavirus public health crisis is the first serious test of the year-old nuvance network, which serves 1.5 million people from the long island sound to the hudson river and northern litchfield county.

588的彩舒适murphy said he expects the crisis to make the network stronger.

588的彩舒适“it really is an extraordinary stress test,” murphy said. “but if there is a silver lining here, it’s that this crisis has accelerated our ability to work together.”

203-731-3342

Rob Ryser|City Hall/General Assignment

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