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SSM Health rescheduling some elective procedures during COVID surge

The health system said it will handle rescheduling elective procedures on a case-by-case basis.

ST. LOUIS — SSM Health hospitals are rescheduling some elective procedures during the COVID-19 surge, a release from the hospital system said Wednesday. It will be done on a case-by-case basis and comes as SSM is reallocating staff to help with the increase in patients as COVID cases continue to climb in the St. Louis area.

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“Before the most recent surge in COVID-19 cases, we were already seeing exceptionally high volumes in our ministries,” said Jeremy Fotheringham, SSM Health St. Louis Regional President, in the release. “Now with COVID-19 related hospitalizations rapidly increasing, plus a number of our own team members unavailable due to COVID-19, we are having to take measures to ensure we’re able to provide exceptional care to meet this critical need.”

SSM Health said for those patients that do have their procedures rescheduled, they will work with them to find a new date as quickly as possible.

SSM is the latest hospital to announce the COVID-19 surge has impacted elective procedures. BJC HealthCare announced they will postpone elective procedures starting Thursday, Jan. 6.

This isn't the first time SSM Health or some other area hospitals have stopped or adjusted elective procedures. All the major hospital systems in St. Louis halted elective procedures at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Hospitals are also making other adjustments during the COVID-19 surge, like limiting the number of visitors patients can have with them at a time. St. Luke's Hospital, SSM Health and BJC Healthcare all put restrictions on the number of visitors as the omicron surge continues.