Area health system pausing elective inpatient surgery as COVID-19 cases rise

ajc.com

RICHMOND, IND. — With COVID-19 cases once again on the rise, a health system in the region has paused all elective inpatient surgeries.

All scheduled surgeries at Reid Health will be reviewed for urgency, and the surgeon’s office will reach out to those patients who need to be rescheduled, the hospital said in a release. Emergency surgeries will proceed as normal, as will outpatient surgeries scheduled at Reid Outpatient Surgery & Endoscopy.

Ohio reported 8,707 daily COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing its total to 1,752,508 total cases, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

A month ago, on Nov. 8, the state recorded 3,122 daily cases and was averaging 3,611 in the previous three weeks. Currently, Ohio’s 21-day average is 6,289 cases a day, according to ODH. In the last week, the state is averaging 7,621 cases a day.

Ohio had 4,297 COVID patients hospitalized on Wednesday, including 1,100 in ICUs and 676 on ventilators.

One in five hospital patients and one in four patients in the state have coronavirus, according to the Ohio Hospital Association. That’s a 10% increase in COVID inpatients in the last week and 45% increase in the past three weeks. COVID patients in Ohio’s ICU are up 11% over last week and 39% in the past three weeks.

Reid Health made a similar decision in early September as COVID-19 cases were quickly climbing due to the highly contagious Delta variant. That wave peaked later in the month, and the number of hospitalized patients dropped over the following weeks, eventually reaching a low of 19 in early November.

The move will allow clinical staff to be available for other inpatient needs as Reid remains on critical bed status, the health system said.

Reid Health officials encouraged those who are still unvaccinated to get the shot. Those who have received one of the vaccines but who are now eligible for a booster dose–anyone 18 years and older who is two months past receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or six months past receiving the second of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines–also should get their extra shot.

“Along with getting vaccinated and booster shots, it’s important everyone–vaccinated or not–get back to using masks and maintaining social distancing when out in public places,” said Dr. Thomas Huth, vice president of medical affairs for Reid Health. “Doing all these things together will give us the best chance at reducing spread in the face of this latest wave.”

Reid Health has locations in Richmond, Ind. and Greeneville.

Ohio residents can schedule a free vaccination or booster dose at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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