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Elective procedures managed on case-by-case basis as hospitals deal with COVID surge

COVID-19 cases, Covid-related deaths and Covid-related hospitalizations are all up this week when compared to last week.

MIAMI – COVID-19 cases, Covid-related deaths and Covid-related hospitalizations are all up this week when compared to last week.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky spoke on this Wednesday.

“About 1600 a day of about 40% over the previous week,” said Dr. Walensky. “Given the sheer number of cases, we may see deaths from omicron, but I suspect the deaths we are seeing now are still from delta. The staggering rise in cases, over 1,000,000 new cases each day, has led to a high number of total hospitalizations.”

When it comes to those in the hospital, recent data documents shorter stays with omicron versus delta.

“The duration of hospital stay was approximately 70 percent shorter, with the median of stays being 1.5 days for omicron compared to 5 days for delta,” said Dr. Walensky. “Looking at all hospital admissions for omicron, 90 percent of patients were expected to be discharges from the hospital in three days or less.”

The director added that with the new dominant variant highly contagious, the omicron surge is driving up the number of people seeking treatment, putting pressure on a healthcare system also struggling with staffing shortages.

At Memorial Healthcare System, while elective surgeries have not been postponed systemwide, a spokesperson said there is a daily review of each hospital’s patient census, staff and resources, with “elective surgeries may be scaled back at a specific hospital based on that activity.”

Also Wednesday, the COVID-19 Response Team said each month they will send 5,000,000 free rapid tests and 5,000,000 lab-based tests to schools.

“These 10,000,000 additional tests available each month will allow schools to double the volume of testing they were performing in November,” said Jeffrey Zients with the White House COVID-19 Response Team.

New projections suggest we are on the cusp of this omicron-fueled wave beginning to wane.

FULL STATEMENT FROM MEMORIAL HEALTHCARE:

Memorial Healthcare System has not cancelled or postponed all elective surgeries or other services and treatments at the system level. However, this is a fluid situation, and each hospital’s census, staff and other resources are impacted based on what volumes and demands they are managing on a daily basis. Therefore, elective surgeries may be scaled back at a specific hospital based on that activity.

FULL STATEMENT FROM JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM:

“Jackson has not suspended elective surgeries systemwide; however, we have canceled or rescheduled some non-urgent procedures - after reviewing on a case by case basis.”


About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."