March 31, 2020
HORNELL, NY – Joint Statement From Mayor John Buckley And St James Hospital:
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grows in Hornell and surrounding communities, with several patients hospitalized at UR Medicine/St. James Hospital, local officials implore the community to take every precaution to social distance. “We now have several patients on our inpatient unit who are COVID-19 positive,” said St. James president and CEO, Bryan O’Donovan. “We need the community to continue take this public health crisis seriously, to prevent further cases.”
Hornell Mayor John Buckley concurs. “Now more than ever it’s imperative that people stay home and only go out to get the bare essentials, to minimize their exposure,” he said. “We know it’s difficult, but this situation is going to get worse before it gets better, and we want people of Hornell and surrounding communities to heed all precautions.”
Physicians at St. James Hospital are seeing more confirmed cases and treating those patients, as well as non-COVID-19 patients. “We have enough PPE and staff to take care of the patients we have,” said Ismail Mehr, M.D., “but we do not want those numbers to climb dramatically. Our community must do everything they can to avoid getting COVID-19, the best way of which is to stay home.” John Robshaw, M.D., oversees the St. James emergency department, and conveys the same message. “We are taking all precautions to keep our staff and patients safe, including masking everyone as they come into the building,” he said. “Anyone with severe symptoms – such as shortness of breath and high fever – should go to the emergency department for a higher level of care, and if possible should call in advance (607-247-2300).”
People are urged to follow the guidelines – frequent hand washing, cough/sneeze into a tissue or inside of your elbow, self-quarantine for mild symptoms, and especially, social distancing. “We are continuing to take care of all patients who come through our door to include COVID-19 positive patients, as well as doing essential surgeries,” said O’Donovan. “We cannot stress enough that social distancing works, and we ask the community to share the message.”
For COVID-19 updates call the UR Medicine hotline (1-888-928-0011) or visit www.ny.gov or stjames.urmc.edu.