COVID-19 Contact Numbers

Vaccine and Staff Testing Questions:

Infection Control Office
(internal ext: 1138 or 1438)

Patient COVID-19 Testing Center:

Oneida Health COVID-19 Testing Center
(internal ext: 2999)

External Questions:

Madison County COVID-19 Hotline

Oneida County COVID-19 Hotline

NYS Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline

What’s New:

(updated 7.15.21)

Update from the CEO

Gene Morreale

Gene Morreale
President and CEO

July 15, 2021

Dear Fellow Employees,

I am sure you have been following the news regarding the COVID Delta Variant and its impact on those who are not vaccinated. It appears to be a problem throughout the country. The continued support for all to be vaccinated is having an impact, albeit, small numbers of individuals are now agreeing to be vaccinated. There is a push to mandate vaccines for health care workers. That mandate is gaining some momentum, but until we see a significant uptick in new cases/hospitalizations and deaths, it in all probability will not move forward.

Please note the following:

1. COVID – we currently have one COVID positive inpatient. The Madison County 7 day average positivity rate is .9%, while the CNY region is .8%. In the County, there are 5 known active cases.

2. Mask Requirements – it does not appear that this requirement will end any time soon, even for vaccinated individuals, in healthcare settings. As a side note, with masking and a focus on handwashing, our hospital acquired infection rate has significantly reduced and remains low, which is great news for our patients.

3. Surge in Patient Volume – the Emergency Department is seeing numbers of patients that are regularly exceeding our budgeted norms. In addition, the patient acuity is higher for the most part, resulting in an increase in observation and admitted patients. We are also experiencing an increase in Surgical cases where these patients require a hospital bed post-operatively.

For this year alone, the ED visits by month are:

January – 1612
February – 1340
March – 1626
April – 1643
May – 1880
June – 1948

The above number increases for May and June were not expected and as a result, have had a significant impact on staffing needs. The ED has had to care for Admissions due to all Med/Surg staffed beds being occupied.
I understand, the current surge of patients has resulted in significant stress on our care team members. I cannot think of one area that has not been impacted by this surge in patients. Couple the surge with our current vacancies, vacations, FMLA, etc., it results in a high work load for our staff. I understand that this cannot continue and it is important that we respond to this new phenomena so that staff are not continually stressed with a heavy work load. Burnout is a real issue and my goal is to do all possible to address our current situation.

I say all this now as I need you all to know that our current approach is not sustainable and needs to be addressed as quickly as humanly possible. My goal is to do everything reasonably possible to retain the high quality staff we have now and bring on reinforcements to help get us through the current volume surge and prepare for a higher volume future. This appears to be our new normal and we as an organization, need to quickly and appropriately respond to that.

In the meantime, our focus needs to be on teamwork, as it is well documented and proven that a team that trusts and cares for each other can overcome many obstacles. Oneida Health, I firmly believe, is the best place to work and the best place to receive health care. You all have proven this time and time again, and the uptick in patient volume is a result of that effort.
Please communicate with your manager on a regular basis, sharing your thoughts and ideas on how we can work together to get through this. I remain confident, that with your continued efforts, together with management response, we will not only get through this, we will be stronger and more resilient, providing the Exceptional Care we have been recognized for.

With Sincerest Gratitude,

Gene F. Morreale

Employee COVID-19 Resources, Testing, and Vaccine Information

The Employee Health Department is here for employees who are feeling ill, concerned about COVID-19 exposure, or who need clearance to return to work. We also vaccinate employees. Below is some helpful information related to hours, exposure, self-monitoring, and tip sheets we recently distributed. Please call us if you have any COVID-19 health questions.

What’s new:

Oneida Health COVID-19 Employee Declination Form – please print, complete, and return to Employee Health if you are declining the vaccine at this time.

Other Helpful Employee Resources

For Questions:

Please submit any questions you may have by emailing