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The Creeping Terror
7 consecutive days of positive cases in Westchester County. Infection rate average: 7.67% Positives (containment rate:1.1) Average number of new cases a day: 778. Hit the arrow and follow how positives have risen since December 29.
Hospitals slow on vaccinations put Westchesters 975,000 without Covid in danger and hospital capacity to care for them at risk

WPCNR INQUIRING REPORTER. Some News and Some Comment. By John F. Bailey January 5, 2021 UPDATED 12 NOON JANUARY 6, 2020:

This morning after reading Westchester County Executive George Latimer’s statement issued at 6:15 PM last night the County had no authority over the Westchester County Medical Center, but would help organize vaccinations if the state directed, I was shocked.

Shocked, I say that the vaccinations of essential health workers were slow.  

After reading in WCBS Ch 2 that Governor Andrew Cuomo wanted the vaccinations done faster, that Westchester County Medical Center had only vaccinated 32% of its 3,342 employees (as of 2017), I was infuriated.

So I called the Westchester County Medical Center at 8:30 AM and asked for their press office or media relations office. The operator transferred me to “marketing.”

The person answering told me they were all in a meeting.

They took my number and said Camilla Morrisey would return my call. The person said they were in a meeting.

I asked the marketing person what was the reason or reasons the Center has only inoculated 32% of their personnel in two weeks? Was it the effect of the holidays? How soon did they expect to complete inoculations of all staff and who remains? What are they trying to do to accelerate the process?

Then I said, wait a minute.

The county would know. Of course.

County Executive George Latimer made that  statement, in his news conference he’d been in touch and talked with Mr. Israel on the matter. He should know.

I came up with 10 questions for the county, since Westchester Medical Center had not called back, (and added in parentheses) follow up questions for future inquiring reporters for reference:

I sent out some questions to the Westchester County Communications Department. They were:

1.Has the Medical Center told Mr. Latimer, how many more “employees” they have left to vaccinate?

2. How long does the Medical Center estimate it will take to get all employees to be vaccinated, vacinated?

3. Is the Medical Center still accepting elective procedures operations, etc.?( If they are, why?)

4. Were all Medical Center staff available since the Medical Center got the vaccine supply to be vaccinated (i.e., not on vacation)

5. What is the detailed procedure of covid vaccinations on a daily basis? How many  a day do they do?(We should know that, right now).

6. How many employees–doctors, nurses, desk people–get vaccinated a day–average?

7. Does the Medical Center have an explanation for what Governor Cuomo says has to be faster?

8. Who planned the procedure at the Medical Center…and for how long were they working on developing the procedure

9. Is the medical center going to issue a statement?

10. Did the Medical Center brief the county on their procedure before they started the vaccinations for the employees, medical, clerical, whatever– and did they clear it with the Governor and Dr. Zucker, the Commissioner of Health

I received one answer back:

“You need to call the medical center.”

I want to repeat that so that can sink in and the meaning of it:

“You need to call the medical center.”

Please, the hospitals have to answer these questions.

This morning in a message sent yesterday evening which WPCNR received this morning, the Westchester Medical Center Health Network issued this statement:

Westchester Medical Center is moving swiftly through our vaccine allocation.

Daily we are vaccinating hundreds of our workforce members.

Earlier this week, we also began administering the second dose to our workforce.

We are closely following New York State guidelines for vaccine prioritization and distribution, and are working under those guidelines hand-in-hand with nearly 200 community partners, including county departments of health, local government, emergency service and other community providers, to deploy vaccine allocations as they become available.

 In response to this statement today, Wednesday, I sent the obvious followups:

  1. When does the Medical Center expect to complete all first and second doses to all your personnel?

2. How many are left to get the second dose and how many have to get their first shot? Have gotten their first shot and awaiting their second shot, a numeric breakdown by category?

3. Is the second dose have a delay attached to it before it can be administered  after the first shot, does that explain the “lag” criticized by the Governor?  

4. Is there a shortage of vaccines to cover the persons in this first availability (your personnel) as seems alluded to in the last sentence of your statement?  

5.Do you have enough vaccine on hand to move on to the elderly, then the general public?  

6. Do you have an explanation for the delay (only 32% vaccinated according to the Governor) Monday

7. Does the Westchester Medical Center Health Care Network have enough approved drugs and emergency-use approved drugs to treat hospitalized Covid patients? Or do you anticipate needing more?

The county knows the answers. Or should. And hopefully County Executive will lay the situation out for us at his covid-19 briefing tomorrow at 2 PM

If the Westchester Medical Center has 3,342 employees of all the doctors, nurses, clerks, managers, what have you. You could vaccinate them all in 7 days if you inoculate 477 a day, that is 20 people an hour.

I want to repeat that.

If you vaccinated 477 a day that is 20 an hour if you went at it 24 hours a day.

If you did 60 inoculations an hour it would take you 55 hours

— which would mean you should have been able to inoculate all 3,342 who work there in 2 days.

But nooooooooooooooooooo…that was too inconvenient? Got in the way of making money?

Well it has been two weeks at this one hospital and they are not close.

This is unacceptable.

It is incompetent.

It is the worst kind of planning.

I of course do not have covid yet.

I am waiting my turn to get it. The vaccination.

At this rate as the infections in Westchester have peaked to last winter’s levels (1,013 new cases last Friday comparable to the 1,000 on April 9, 2020 in Westchester alone) by the time I get a shot, with this kind of hospital performance, I may not be eligible because I may have covid.

So are the rest of you Mr. and Mrs. Westchester County.

If the Westchester Medical Center has innoculated  1/3 of their employees that means they have over 2,000 to go.

Can all the designated innoculator hospitals get on the stick?

What has to be done is a military operation.

The staffs, the front liners have to come on in and wait in line and get it done.

The more days it takes to get the professional health care workers innoculated , the more hospitalizations we will have.

And they are rising in Westchester at hospitalization rates right now that will deliver 275 new hospitalizations a day in two weeks time.

I’ve just been handed the Monday Covid Tracker results for Westchester Testing. Number tested: 8,819. The number of new cases testing positive 619, an infection rate of 7% which is what we have been averaging. I just did the math of the positives for the last week in the video at the top of this column.

In two weeks at a hospitalization rate of 5% this yields 30 hospitalizations for one day of positives, in 2 weeks. At 30 hospitalizations a day for 14 days this yields 420 hospitalizations,building building in exorably frazzling health care staffs to the bone.

And should the drugs used to treat covid not be there in good supply, you have the health crisis beyond imagination, because there is no outside the state medical backups ready to come in and help .

The hospitals are bungling the vaccine.

The outside aid from other states can’t come in because they are overwhelmed across the nation treating their own state residents.

No backup managers.

The beds set asde for covid patients (2,500) in the county could easily be overwhelmed in two weeks to three weeks. With no health care professional backups.

The hospitals have fumbled on first down deep in their own territory.

The bureaucracies as Governor Andrew Cuomo observed yesterday can’t handle it.

The County Executive has to know those answers and he should bring the hospitals on the carpet and demand a plan to fix it. Tomorrow. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

The silence today by the hospitals is a disgrace.

Perhaps, a “sorry,” might be in order. All that high paid management talent can’t do math.

Now, is not the time for discussion and cooperation.

Now is the time for decisive action! Do this do that. Set them up alphabetically and staff it up and get those shots done. Because you have to repeat a second time.

Think it through!

We trusted you.

I mean how long  did the hospitals actually think about these plans to inoculate?

Once again the Governor has trusted the top officials in hospital management trusting ineptitude to execute and they have messed up, putting 925,000 approximately Westchesterites who have not gotten covid in jeopardy, waiting for a vaccine.

That’s what they did.

No more excuses.

No “Excuse me’s.”

No “it’s a big job,” excuse.

Fix it.




And anyone out there who does not wear a mask or observe social distancing, you need to do it. Hospital management of vaccinations has doomed you if you get it. They won’t be able to handle the cases at the present infection rate.

The vaccine is not going to reach you the uninoculated public in time.

The drugs to give you when you get Covid, there may not be enough in supply to save you.

That’s Question 11– how is the supply of the medications to treat covid look? How do we get them if cases surge;

Can we?

Will we?

Thank God for a Governor who calls out incompetence when he sees it while there is still time, brother.

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