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St. Joseph's no longer a 'COVID-19 only' hospital

A sharp decrease in the number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospital care means the Cheektowaga hospital will resume offering other types of health care services.

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — Due to a sharp decrease in the number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospital care, Catholic Health says it's ready to resume offering other types of health care services at St. Joseph's in Cheektowaga.

The hospital had been operating as a "COVID-19 only" facility for the past four months.

It was the only health care facility in Western New York to operate in such a fashion.

After more than four months, and after discharging its 500th COVID patient, the hospital is now resuming operation of its emergency department, as well as select rehabilitation, outpatient, and elective surgery units.

"The community now needs us to transition to have a balance between the unknown of COVID and bringing key services they have longed for back in this community," said Catholic Health President and CEO Mark Sullivan.

The St. Joseph's campus will still treat COVID patients in a specialized unit, which is effectively sealed off from the rest of the facility.

In addition, hospital officials say they will remain "nimble" in order to be able to handle another surge of cases, should that occur.

"There have been so many lessons that we have learned through the pandemic," said Marty Boryszak, Catholic Health vice president of acute care services.

At the height of the pandemic there was a day when there were 125 COVID-19 patients at St. Joseph's. According to hospital officials there are currently just 14.