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New York State provides further guidance to Erie County hospitals about postponing elective procedures

Per the governor's announcement on Monday, Erie County hospitals must stop elective surgeries effective Friday, December 4.

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — Two days after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Erie County must stop elective procedures, the New York State Department of Health has provided more specific guidelines about what that should look like. 

Due to a steady increase in COVID-19 cases in the county, the New York State Department of Health says all hospitals in Erie County must postpone all non-essential elective procedures until further notice. The department of health says the increase in COVID-19 cases "threatens the availability of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients," and the governor said earlier in the day that halting elective surgeries will free up space for COVID patients.

However, the New York State Department of Health says this directive does not apply to elective procedures at ambulatory surgery centers, office based facilities or free-standing diagnostic and treatment centers. The department of health adds that this directive could be extended to other counties "to ensure the availability of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients."

Kaleida Health says its surgical executive committee is working with hospital administration to implement these rules from the state, further stating "the directive outlines what actions to take based on the acuity of the surgery and health of the patient." Kaleida added that starting last week, it began to postpone and reschedule non-emergent procedures, which would required lengthy hospital stays.

Per the governor's announcement on Monday, Erie County hospitals must stop elective surgeries effective Friday, December 4.

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