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Pause on all elective surgeries at Providence 'directly influenced' by COVID-19 surge

The pause on the surgeries are effective starting Wednesday, Sept. 15.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Providence will pause all elective surgeries and procedures at Sacred Heart Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

According to a press release from Providence, the pause on the procedures will be effective Wednesday, Sept. 15. They do not know when they will resume. 

Providence Communication Manager Ariana Lake said the hospital will work with each patient on a case-by-case basis to reschedule and provide necessary care. They encourage patients with a surgery scheduled in the next two weeks to contact the doctor’s office that scheduled the surgery for more information.

The paused surgeries include those that can be delayed without harm or risk to a patient. MultiCare hospitals in Spokane have also paused some elective surgeries amid the surge in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.

This adjustment is directly influenced by the large number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 and significant staffing issues, according to Lake.

COVID-19 patients in Idaho are contributing to the overcrowding in Spokane-area hospitals as well. 

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced last week that Panhandle Health District and the Idaho North Central District entered into crisis standards of care because of “a massive increase in patients with COVID-19 who require hospitalization.” This means resources are stretched so thin patients can no longer expect the level of care they would receive under normal circumstances.

The New York Times reported that 29 of Sacred Heart's inpatients last week were from Idaho. Officials added that the number of patients sent over to the emergency room from Kootenai Health was up 34% in August. Ariana Lake, a spokesperson for Providence, also confirmed this information to KREM on Monday.  

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