Intermountain halts nonemergent surgeries at 13 hospitals

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Intermountain Healthcare said it is joining other U.S. hospitals and health systems that have delayed nonemergency surgeries amid a COVID-19 surge fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant.

The Salt Lake City-based health system is postponing all non-urgent surgeries and procedures requiring a hospital admission or postoperative inpatient monitoring in its 13 trauma and community hospitals.

The change will take effect Sept. 15 and last several weeks.

"COVID-19 cases have continued to significantly increase in Utah — resulting in consistently high volumes in hospital ICUs and acute care units across our system," the health system said in a news release. "Our teams are overwhelmed and we're running out of staffed beds for patients. We are at a critical point where we must take further action to support our teams and the safety of our patients."

The 13 hospitals affected postponing all non-urgent surgeries and procedures requiring a hospital admission or postoperative inpatient monitoring are: 

  • Logan Regional
  • McKay-Dee (Ogden)
  • Layton
  • LDS Hospital (Salt Lake)
  • Intermountain Medical Center (Murray)
  • Riverton
  • Alta View (Sandy)
  • Park City
  • American Fork
  • Utah Valley (Provo)
  • Spanish Fork
  • Cedar City
  • St. George

Intermountain said it will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation. 

Consolidation of remaining surgeries or procedures may occur in certain situations to help free up staff to be redeployed in its hospitals, the health system said. 

Additionally, Intermountain's rural hospitals, The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Murray, Utah, and Salt Lake City-based Primary Children's may postpone some cases on an as needed basis.

Intermountain is among several hospitals and health systems halting nonemergency surgeries, including Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare and Portland, Maine-based MaineHealth.

The postponements come as new daily COVID-19 hospitalization rates in the U.S. have climbed 1 percent over the last two weeks, according to data tracked by The New York Times. In Utah, new daily COVID-19 hospitalization rates rose 13 percent during that time period. 

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