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Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside sees curve flattening

Hospital officials say 'don't let up' on social distancing

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Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital officials said there has been a flattening of the curve in coronavirus cases, however, the community must still be vigilant in practicing social distancing.
Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital officials said there has been a flattening of the curve in coronavirus cases, however, the community must still be vigilant in practicing social distancing.
Courtesy MSSN

The curve of coronavirus cases at Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside is flattening, according to Joe Calderone, the hospital’s vice president of corporate communications.

As of Friday, the hospital had 290 patients being treated for Covid-19, down from 383 on April 13, which hospital officials said they believe was the peak.

“The good news is the number has been steadily flattening,” Calderone said. “The social distancing that people are doing, as difficult as it is, is definitely producing results. We are really urging people to not let up.”

Of those patients, 64 were on ventilators. MSSN has more than 100 ventilators available. In addition, Calderone assured that the facility has enough personal protective equipment, or PPE, for all hospital staff.

“We purchased some [ventilators] ourselves and were able to get some through Mount Sinai Health System,” Calderone explained. “Our partnership with them has been incredibly helpful through this pandemic, supporting both in a clinical standpoint in terms of new drugs being tested and plasma therapy. They also have a very good, robust supply chain operation.”

As of Friday, the hospital had 238 Covid-19 deaths, while 357 patients who were previously diagnosed with the virus were treated and discharged. When cases began to climb last month, Department of Medicine Chairman Dr. Aaron Glatt spoke of the importance of social distancing during a Facebook Live session at the hospital.

“I want to stress the single most important thing that everybody can do is really understand what social distancing means,” he said at the time. “That's the buzzword of 2020. That will be the word of the year.”

One month later, Calderone urged residents to continue to heed that advice, even as the numbers continue to improve.

While the toll the virus has taken is unprecedented and beyond what most hospital workers have ever seen, Calderone noted that there is still much they are grateful for. The hospital has received food donations from more than 50 local businesses.

“Many have come forward and funded food for the staff,” he said, “which is really helpful because they’re working 16-hour days and barely have time to take a break. This way, [the food] is readily available and they don’t have to think about it.

“But really, it’s not about the food,” he added. “It’s the message that it sends to the staff that people on the outside recognize what’s happening inside this hospital and the incredible challenge the front-line workers have faced during this pandemic, putting themselves and families at risk to care for often critically ill Covid patients. It sends a great morale boost.”

Nurses at Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital are also spreading positivity with their "message board of hope," which they debuted in the hospital lobby last week.

Nurses Teresa Ebehart, Angelica Hoyos and Christine Doud handcrafted the board, which displays the number of Covid-19-positive patients that have been discharged from the hospital, and how many coronavirus patients have been taken off ventilators at the facility.

As each patient is discharged from MSSN, "Here Comes the Sun" is played as the board is updated. Each time a patient is taken off of a ventilator, the staff plays "Breath."

Mike Smollins contributed to this story.