400 Called Hotline Over Weekend, 200 More Connect Today


One Non-Local Patient Treated At Bassett

400 Called Hotline

Over Weekend, 200+

More Connect Today

Many Just Have Colds, Others

Directed To Visit Testing Tents

By ELIZABETH COOPER • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Hundreds of people had called Bassett Healthcare Network’s coronavirus hotline by this evening, according to hospital spokeswoman Karen Huxtable-Hooker.

Four hundred called over the weekend after a 24-hour hotline, 607-547-5555, was announced Friday.  And more 200 called today, Huxtable-Hooker said.

One out-of-county patient infected with the coronavirus continues under treatment at Bassett.  No in-county cases have yet developed, county board Chair Dave Bliss said this morning.

“There is clearly a lot of demand for that phone line,” she said. So much so that the healthcare network is looking to expand the number of staff fielding the calls.

About 20 percent of callers are simply anxious and seeking information, and they are directed to the Bassett website or other sources that may answer their questions, the spokeswoman said.

The majority of the calls are people with cold symptoms who are concerned they might have the virus. Staffers  question each caller to determine risk level, and if deemed necessary, set an appointment to go to one of the screening tents that have been set up at Bassett facilities. Those locations have the capacity to test for both the flu and to swab for COVID-19.

Flu tests can be processed by Basssett, but COVID 19 tests are sent to outside labs. Huxtable-Hooker did not know how many COVID 19 tests had been sent out.

Individuals whose condition is more serious are routed to separate heated tents outside Bassett facilities, many of which are equipped with portable X-ray machines.

Huxtable-Hooker stressed that area residents should not go to the screening tents without first calling the hotline and getting an appointment.

Bassett officials are working closely with county and state officials as the situation develops, she said.

That includes tomorrow, when Bassett Healthcare President/CEO Bill Streck was expected to meet with the county emergency task force at 197 Main St.


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