Upstate University Hospital halts most elective surgeries

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Upstate University Hospital Friday put an end to most elective surgery as it deals with a spike in hospitalizations due to COVID-19. In order to make more hospital beds available, a hospital spokesperson says some adult non-coronavirus patients have been moved to Upstate’s Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Thursday, Onondaga County reported that 177 people were in Syracuse hospitals due to COVID-19. That’s nearly double the number of people hospitalized at the height of the first round of the pandemic back in May.

St. Joseph’s Hospital Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Philip Falcone said in a statement to NewsChannel 9 “At this point, we are not canceling surgeries. We are reviewing on a daily basis and continue to provide necessary care. This is an extremely fluid situation and may change very quickly.”

A spokesperson for Crouse Hospital says the hospital has not made any decisions about halting elective surgery. It is still evaluating.

Central New York, as well as much of the country, has seen a surge in new COVID-19 cases since Halloween as activities move indoors and holidays bring about more social events. State and local officials report contact tracing of infected people show much of the spread can be blamed on small in-home gatherings.

County officials say the ability of hospitals to treat COVID patients as well as those who become sick with other illnesses or are injured in accidents will determine if the state enacts more restrictions on business activities.

Upstate Hospital released the following statement on Friday afternoon:

“Due to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the region, Upstate University Hospital will cancel all non-urgent elective surgeries and procedures, effective Friday, Dec. 4.

When appropriate, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital will help balance the patient load by caring for non-covid adults up to age 30.

Upstate continues to monitor the covid cases throughout the region and will respond accordingly to ensure the safety of all patients and staff.

Upstate asks the public to continue to be vigilant in halting the spread of covid by wearing a mask, washing hands, and keeping socially distant.”

NewsChannel 9 spoke with Dr. Robert Corona — the CEO of Upstate Medical University — on Friday. Watch the full interview below:


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