NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The number of patients being admitted at Connecticut Hospitals not surprisingly is increasing.

Yale New Haven Health reported at its virtual news conference that the patient census is growing 25 percent daily across the system this week, with 152 patients in beds as of earlier Friday.

The focus is on patient care, protecting health care workers, and keeping an adequate supply of everything they need.

To increase patient capacity, the coronavirus pandemic has led to a first at Smilow Cancer Hospital.

Dr. Tom Balcezak, Yale New Haven Health Chief Clinical Officer says, “Smilow Cancer Hospital was built with the top three floors to be able to turn on into negative pressure mode and a huger number of folks were able to take all of those three floor of patients off and relocate them into another part of our institution and ready those three floors negative pressure for COVID-19 patients.”

Treatment for outpatient cancer patients is being delayed if it can be safely done.

At the drive through testing on Sargent Drive, where a little over a 100 people are getting tested a day, they are keeping a close eye on supplies.

“Currently we are fully operational on that site,” says Dr. Richard Martinello, Yale New Haven Health Medical Director of Infection Prevention. “But one of the problems that we have been experiencing, and we hope that it doesn’t become disruptive for us, is that just like we are seeing a shortage in the supply of personal protective equipment nationally, there are also some shortages in the swabs that we use to take specimens from our patients’ nose and mouth, and also some shortages in laboratory supplies that are necessary for us to do the testing.”

Research treatment protocols continue for covid patients system wide, including the use of an HIV drug.

Dr. Martinello says, ‘There are some similarities in some of the enzymes between the HIV virus and the coronavirus that is causing COVID. I’ll add that and what we don’t know yet and why research is so important here is to really better develop an understanding of what drugs work and which ones don’t work.”

With no vaccine, and covid-19 expected to linger, staying steadfast to public health warnings is crucial.

Yale New Haven Health CEO Marna Borgstrom says, “We are going to see other rotations of this – so we need to be able to stand for the longer term in other to provide the care our communities expect.”

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Martinello says because Connecticut is on the upswing and it’s such a fluid situation, peak could be four weeks away, and expects to be treating patients long after that, which could take us into summer.