By Jennifer McLogan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Coronavirus cases are surging across the country. But in the New York area, odds of surviving the respiratory disease have improved.

CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan visited hospitals in the area and spoke with doctors to find out why.

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Dr. Marc Adler, chief medical officer at NYU Langone-Long Island took CBS2 behind the scenes, where changes in COVID hospitalization protocols are leading to a decline in death rates in our region.

“We know what medications work, and work right away,” said Dr. Adler.

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There’s a better understanding of the disease.

“This is all equipment for oxygenation, incubation,” he said while showing McLogan around. “We have antiviral medications that we’re using in the hospitals… An infusion that we use over five days.”

There’s also a one-time monoclonal antibody infusion for those with mild symptoms.

COVID VACCINE

Hospitals now have months of experience resulting in new therapeutics, equipment and approach. That means a dramatic increase in survival.

Hospitals are relying less on ventilators. Patients are given low-flow oxygen through the nose.

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“Now we do something, we watch them a little more cautiously,” Dr. Adler said. “We put patients on their bellies and it helps oxygenate parts of the lungs.”

Michael Goldberg,  executive director of Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Northwell Health, said unlike other parts of the country, hospitals in our area are no longer as overwhelmed as they were in the spring.

“So many people are recovering because they’re getting their care sooner,” said Goldberg. “To see people in their homes and test them, getting pulse oximeters to patients so they can monitor their levels.”

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

An uptick in testing is paying off, too.

“Testing, even when their asymptomatic. Which means we have the opportunity to intervene sooner than we did in the first wave,” Goldberg said.

And now frontline workers are fully trained and mobile.

“We know what works now and we implemented immediately,” Goldberg said. “We have the benefit of learning from all of our colleagues from around the country.”

“We also are looking ahead, trying to gauge where will we be next week,” Dr. Adler said.

NYU-Langone and Northwell Health are involved in COVID treatment studies with patients recovering at home.

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Jennifer McLogan