NEW YORK — As New York City hospitals become more crowded with COVID-19 patients, a new directive for EMT workers shows the harsh reality of the coronavirus crisis and the strain on the health care system.
According to a memo from the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York City (NYC REMAC), paramedics are being told not to transport cardiac arrest patients to the hospital if they can not restart their heart and revive them in the field.
The new guidelines are part of an attempt to alleviate the strain on hospitals and health care workers.
23% of EMS workers are currently out sick, and fleets are stretched thin amid record call volume.
In the hopes of alleviating the strain on the healthcare system, hundreds of out-of-town EMT workers have rushed to New York to step in.
As of Wednesday, New York City had recorded 47,439 cases of COVID-19, with nearly 10,000 of those patients hospitalized. The city's confirmed COVID-19 cases represent about a quarter of all the confirmed cases in the United States.
The coronavirus death toll in NYC has risen to nearly 1,400.
This story was originally published by Anthony DiLorenzo and Mark Sundstrom on WPIX in New York.