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Good Morning, Buffalo: WNY's hospitals, at lowest bed capacity so far this year, face more pressure

Good Morning, Buffalo: WNY's hospitals, at lowest bed capacity so far this year, face more pressure

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Oct. 1, 2021 (copy)

Mercy Hospital this week trimmed some patient services. Ambulances are being diverted from the South Buffalo hospital, although Mercy's emergency department remained open to walk-in patients. Mercy also has suspended labor and delivery services, pushing those patients to other local hospitals.

WNY's hospitals, at lowest bed capacity so far this year, face more pressure

The looming strike at Mercy Hospital had other hospitals preparing for a ripple effect of patients.

The strike began at 6 a.m. Friday after Catholic Health System and the workers’ union failed to reach an agreement overnight. But Mercy was already cutting back on some patient services ahead of a possible walkout.

Erie County Medical Center said it hadn't seen an increase in patient volumes due to reduced services at Mercy. But Kaleida said it had seen an impact at its facilities, including more ambulance traffic, an uptick in labor and delivery patients, and more cardiac and stroke cases.

The disruptions at Mercy come as hospitals are already facing staffing pressures from the state's vaccination mandate for health care workers that took effect on Monday.

State figures show that available bed capacity at Western New York hospitals has fallen since July.

– Matt Glynn


Related coverage: Union workers at Mercy Hospital go on strike as talks fail to yield deal: About 2,000 nurses, technical and clerical employees at Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo went on strike Friday morning after Catholic Health System and the the Communications Workers of America Local 1133 failed to reach an agreement overnight. Read more   


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Hochul to expand vaccine mandate to health workers in prisons, mental health facilities: The Hochul administration, questioned about the differences in Covid-19 mandates affecting health workers, says it is expanding the edicts to also apply to state health workers employed in mental health and prison settings. It comes as the mandate is already set to be imposed next week on workers at home care, hospice and adult care settings, such as assisted living facilities. Read more

[More: Stay current with Covid-19 in WNY with The News' updated maps and statistics]


John Rigas, disgraced cable tycoon, former Sabres owner, dies at 96: Before he and four other company executives were indicted on fraud charges in 2022, Mr. Rigas was one of Buffalo’s most admired business figures. Read more

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Bills LB Matt Milano embraces a more vocal role: “Part of Matt's job entails echoing the calls, helping the communication part, which is important for us so we can execute,” head coach Sean McDermott said. “And Matt's done a good job with that this year.” Read more


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Space comes close

Behind the star projector is a video display of Saturn.

 What planet are you on? It’s a question that might be inspired by a new state-of-the-art facility at SUNY Buffalo State. News photographer Sharon Cantillon shares photos of the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium, which will open to the public Oct. 8.

 Some call him a “modern day Huckleberry Finn.” Adventurer and journalist Neal Moore is on a 7,500-mile canoe voyage from Oregon to New York City as he documents America from the water. The journey has seen him paddle through more than 20 states. WKBW’s Taylor Epps says Western New York and the Erie Canal are on Moore’s itinerary.

 Pendleton teen Lana Stroehlein knows firsthand how much joy Make-A-Wish Western New York brings to lives of many youngsters. She’s a Wish Child herself. That’s why she’s selling pumpkins and mums outside her family’s home to raise money for the group. WGRZ’s Melissa Holmes says Lana will be selling her wares from a red wagon she built with her dad through October. 

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Have a fantastic weekend.

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