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COVID-19: Elective Surgeries To Be Halted At 32 NY Hospitals

Some regions in New York are facing possible hospital bed shortages.
Some regions in New York are facing possible hospital bed shortages. Photo Credit: ny.gov

With the number of new COVID-19 infections continuing to surge, and the number of unvaccinated patients being treated for the virus occupying hospital beds, some parts of New York are being forced to cancel or postpone certain elective procedures.

As the Omicron variant of the virus spreads, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that 32 New York hospitals will be blocked from performing non-essential surgeries to prevent a shortage of beds or staff.

The emergency order from Hochul goes into effect on Thursday, Dec. 9.

The Omicron variant was confirmed to be in New York by the Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center in two cases in Suffolk County on Long Island and two cases in Oneida County, Hochul announced.

According to the Department of Health, non-elective procedures will still be covered, including those relating to:

  • Cancer and diagnostic reviews;
  • Neurosurgery;
  • Intractable pain;
  • Highly symptomatic patients
  • Transplants;
  • Trauma;
  • Cardiac with symptoms;
  • Limb threatening vascular procedures;
  • Dialysis vascular access.

All other procedures will be put on hold until Jan. 15, at which point Hochul said they will assess where the fight is against COVID-19. She also said that if certain areas start to show improvements in fighting off the virus, they could potentially resume elective surgeries earlier.

The list of hospitals includes 12 in the Finger Lakes and Mohawk Valley, as well as 20 hospitals in Western New York, Central New York, the North Country, and Capital Region.

Those hospitals are: 

Finger Lakes

  • F.F. Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua;
  • Geneva General Hospital;
  • Highland Hospital in Rochester;
  • Rochester General Hospital;
  • Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester;
  • The Unity Hospital in Greece;
  • Wyoming County Community Hospital.

Mohawk Valley

  • A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta;
  • Faxton St. Luke's Healthcare in Utica;
  • Little Falls Hospital;
  • St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Utica;
  • St. Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam.

Capital Region

  • Albany Medical Center Hospital;
  • Saratoga Hospital in Saratoga Springs
  • Glens Falls Hospital.

Central New York

  • Crouse Hospital in Syracuse;
  • Oneida Health Hospital;
  • Oswego Hospital;
  • Guthrie Cortland Medical Center in Cortland;
  • University Hospital SUNY Health Science Center in Onondaga County;
  • UPSTATE University Hospital at Community General in Onondaga County.

North Country

  • Canton-Potsdam Hospital in Potsdam;
  • Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg;
  • The University of Vermont Health Network - Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone;
  • The University of Vermont Health Network - Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Champlain;
  • The University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital in Elizabethtown.

Western New York

  • Brooks-TLC Hospital System in Chautauqua;
  • Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo;
  • Mercy Hospital of Buffalo in Buffalo;
  • Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center in Lewiston;
  • Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo;
  • UPMC Chautauqua at WCA in Jamestown.

“With the new variant circulating, the best way to stay safe and prevent serious illness during the holiday season is by getting vaccinated or a booster shot,” she said in a statement. 

“With more friends and family gathering indoors this time of year, we have the tools to fight this pandemic and you can protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated and encouraging others to get the shot, and mask up.”

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