Mayo Clinic Health System postpones electives in Wisconsin

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Mayo Clinic Health System will defer elective procedures at its hospitals in Northwest Wisconsin starting Oct. 31 amid an escalation of COVID-19 cases, the system said Oct. 30. 

The health system said it is seeing more than 100 positive daily tests at its sites across the region. As of Oct. 30, 68 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 at Mayo Clinic hospitals in Northwest Wisconsin, including 52 in Eau Claire.

The health system also said more than 200 staff members are unable to come to work due to having COVID-19 or being exposed to someone with the virus. 

"This situation is serious. We now are at risk of overwhelming our healthcare system," Richard Helmers, MD, regional vice president of Mayo Clinic Health System's Northwest Wisconsin Region, said in a news release. "We're sharing this transparently because we need everyone's help to slow down the spread. We know what works: avoiding medium and large gatherings, masking, social distancing and hand-washing."

The health system did not say when elective procedures will restart. 

The Mayo Clinic Health System has clinics, hospitals and other facilities across Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

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