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Home > Mercy News > Cedar Rapids healthcare providers to reduce elective surgeries
Published on November 12, 2020
In an effort to preserve staffing needs as local hospitals address the surge of COVID-19 admissions, Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital have begun reducing surgical cases that require a hospital stay after surgery. This measure will remain in place until Nov. 20. Additionally, both hospitals will refrain from scheduling elective procedures in the immediate future that require an overnight, post-operative bed. Patients affected by this change will be contacted by their surgeon. There is no need for patients to contact the hospital as instructions will come from each patient’s individual surgeon.
The Cedar Rapids healthcare community will continue to utilize criteria established by the American College of Surgeons to assess additional surgical case requests and prioritize those that are urgent or an emergency. The status of both hospitals is being assessed hourly. This joint approach is in place to ensure that the hospitals can maintain sufficient bed, staffing and PPE capacity, which is necessary to ensure the community has adequate resources to care for all patients.
Mercy and St. Luke’s have worked together throughout the pandemic to put measures in place to keep patients, visitors and staff safe. These measures include: limiting visitors; screening all who enter our facilities; promoting hand hygiene and social distancing; requiring masking; and establishing rigorous cleaning and procedures.
We ask the public to continue to take measures to protect the community and healthcare workers by:
This is an urgent situation. We need everyone to do their part and to do it now.
Please know that both hospitals continue to accept and treat patients. The hospitals have surge plans that are in effect and allow for expanded capacity, as needed.
The hospitals also remind the community that health emergencies should not wait. If an individual has a medical emergency, both hospitals are open, safe and ready to provide care. Call 911 or go to an ER immediately if you have a life-threatening condition.
For non-urgent medical needs, use walk-in medical clinics and primary care clinics, which are also safe and open. We urge you to call ahead prior to visiting any of the primary care clinics or to schedule an appointment online. Masks are required. Your healthcare provider will provide guidance on COVID-19 testing.
Finally, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance provides the following advice for individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, have any other emergency warning signs or if you think it is an emergency.
UnityPoint Health - Waterloo is also suspending elective surgical cases requiring an inpatient bed until Nov. 27.