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Rochester Regional to pause non-essential surgical procedures for two weeks

Rochester Regional Health has decided to postpone all non-essential elective inpatient surgeries and procedures at selected hospitals starting this week.

In a statement sent out on Tuesday, Rochester Regional officials said Rochester General Hospital and Unity Hospital will implement at least a two-week pause on all non-essential elective-inpatient procedures starting on Thursday, Dec 9.

Hospital officials said the postponement is in compliance with the newly released guidance from the state health department, which recommends that hospitals with less than 10% bed capacity consider suspending all non-essential surgeries.

On Monday, Governor Kathy Hochul listed 31 hospitals that met the criteria including Strong Memorial Hospital, Unity and Highland. URMC began postponing elective and semi-elective procedures on Monday for three-weeks.

Rochester Regional also suspended inpatient elective surgeries at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital for this week as a precautionary measure. Officials said office-based procedures and ambulatory surgery centers will not be impacted.

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.