Coronavirus News: Staten Island hospital marks 1st day of 0 COVID-19 admissions

STATEN ISLAND (WABC) -- A hospital on Staten Island marked its first day of zero coronavirus admissions in two months with new entrance procedures.

Staten Island University Hospital announced Monday it did not admit any COVID-19 patients in 24 hours.

"Getting to this milestone is incredible for the staff and more importantly, encouraging for our patients needing emergency care to come to the hospital. This is not over, we're still seeing cases, but this decrease is due to everyone's efforts in social distancing," said Brahim Ardolic, MD, executive director of Staten Island University Hospital.

As admissions continue to decline and the hospital prepares to resume elective surgeries and normal operations, SIUH has restructured its patient flow with designated entrances and waiting areas.

As patients enter through the Emergency Department, they will be greeted in the waiting room with a mask by staff monitoring the situation.

All patients will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 to immediately identify potential coronavirus cases. The emergency rooms have established two separate waiting areas, for patients who are positive COVID-19 and for those who are negative.

"We need our community to feel comfortable coming to the ER again," explained Nicole Berwald, MD, chair of emergency medicine at Staten Island University Hospital. "Too many patients are waiting extended periods of time at home with illnesses that need to be treated."

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