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URMC to pause elective procedures; RRH says it will limit them

Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center will place more than 1,500 employees on furlough starting Sunday, the medical center said.
UR Medicine hospitals, including Strong Memorial Hospital, put a pause on elective and semi-elective procedures

UR Medicine hospitals are putting a three-week pause on elective and semi-elective surgical procedures beginning on Monday, Dec. 6.

Officials said these are cases that can be delayed for three months or longer with no extreme risk to patients, but usually require post operative in-patient care.

This news comes just days after Monroe County Executive Adam Bello issued a state of emergency due to rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

As of Friday, the county reported 482 people were hospitalized in the Finger Lakes region, and 105 were in the ICU.

Rochester Regional Health said Friday that it will start limiting inpatient elective surgeries beginning next week.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul advised hospital systems last week to postpone non-emergency cases if inpatient bed capacity dropped below 10%.

URMC officials said patients will be contacted directly if their procedure must be postponed. They said outpatient procedures will still continue at hospitals and surgery centers throughout the systems.

RRH officials also said they are communicating with patients as the situation evolves.

Racquel Stephen is a health and environment reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Rochester and a master's degree in broadcasting and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.