Illinois governor asks hospitals to delay nonurgent surgeries

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association urged hospitals last week to delay nonurgent surgeries and other procedures not risking patient safety to prepare for a "likely" post-holiday omicron surge and shortage of staffed intensive care unit beds. 

Ngozi Ezike, MD, Illinois Department of Public Health director, said the state is seeing about 500 new daily hospitalizations, with 90 percent of those patients being unvaccinated. Data last updated Jan. 2 shows 5,575 patients in the state are hospitalized with COVID-19. 

In a Dec. 30 news release, the governor noted that some hospitals have already delayed nonurgent procedures in light of capacity concerns, but urged all leaders to follow suit. 

"To all Illinoisans: Please understand that the nation is experiencing high COVID transmission rates, and some surgeries in Illinois will be postponed," Mr. Pritzker stated. "We're asking our residents to temporarily hold off on important medical care like tonsillectomies, bariatric surgeries and hernia repair. As we work to keep ICU beds open, I continue to applaud the efforts of our hospitals and healthcare workers across the state who have been heroes for us all."


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