Mercy Health postpones non-emergency, elective procedures amid COVID-19 surge

Mercy Health announced on Friday the postponement of elective procedures due to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the region and state.

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Mercy Health announced on Friday the postponement of elective procedures due to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the region and state.

Mercy Health, which operates hospitals in Clark and Champaign counties, has decided to postpone nonemergency, elective surgeries amid the rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the region.

The hospital network on Friday postponed all elective procedures for Springfield Regional Medical Center, according to spokeswoman Jennifer Robinson.

“We have canceled all non-essential/elective procedures that require an overnight admission at Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center,” she said in an email. “This decision was made to safeguard the health of our patients, associates and the communities we serve.”

Mercy Health operates Springfield Regional Medical Center and Urbana Hospital.

More than 1,000 new confirmed cases of the virus were reported to the Clark County Combined Health District last week. The county has seen an increase in cases reported locally for nearly two months.

As of Monday afternoon, the Ohio Department of Health has reported 27,258 total cases of the virus in Clark County and 7,002 total cases in Champaign County. Clark County has seen 795 COVID-19 hospitalizations since the pandemic’s start, while Champaign County has seen 285.

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Robinson said that the hospital network has a task force in place that is closely monitoring pandemic trends and the impact it may have on service delivery and offerings.

“We continue to evaluate the situation as the impact of the pandemic on our community changes. All decisions are made to prioritize the health and safety of both our patients and employees,” she said in an email.

Robinson said that Mercy Health employees in the Springfield market are not required to be vaccinated at this point, though the hospital network strongly encourages it.

“Mercy Health continues to monitor and evaluate the rapidly changing information regarding the CMS COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” she said. “We continue to strongly recommend that our employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but will not require it, in our Springfield market. This decision doesn’t change how we feel about the COVID-19 vaccine – it is safe, highly-effective and how we will move beyond this pandemic.”

Roughly 49% of Clark County’s population has completed its vaccine series as of Monday afternoon, according to ODH.

Kettering Health announced last week that elective procedures would be delayed. Affected patients will be directly notified if their surgery or procedure is postponed. This comes after Reid Health and hospital networks in Columbus postponed elective procedures in December, and two networks in the Cincinnati area also did so this week.

Premier Health will also postpone any nonemergency surgeries and procedures that require an overnight stay beginning today through Jan. 31.

By the Numbers:

49: Percentage of Clark County residents who have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series

27,258: Total number of coronavirus cases reported in Clark County

424: Total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Clark County

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