CORONAVIRUS

Surgeries requiring hospital stays to resume next week, Cedar Rapids providers announce

Coronavirus testing required before procedure, other mitigation efforts still in place

St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapid on Monday, May 12, 2014. (The Gazette)
St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapid on Monday, May 12, 2014. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids medical providers announced they are entering the next phase of their collaborated reopening and soon will allow surgeries that require hospital stays to resume.

Starting June 1, previously scheduled surgery cases with postoperative hospital stays will begin at Cedar Rapids’ major medical hubs.

“We will continue to closely monitor the pandemic and will expand the number of procedures available in the coming weeks, eventually returning to the level of pre-pandemic services, if we are able to continue to meet our guiding principles safely,” officials said in the Friday news release.

This step is the third of four steps in a phased-in approach to resuming health care services after the pandemic. The road map was first implemented in March by Mercy Medical Center, UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital, Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa and Linn County Anesthesiologists, according to the joint release.

As the number of hospital stays related to COVID-19 across the state began to decline, Gov. Kim Reynolds allowed elective surgeries to resume in early May.

Following the governor’s announcement, the Cedar Rapids hospitals and other providers reactivated “select surgical services and other invasive procedures” as well as other select outpatient services.

Strict measures to mitigate the risk of spread will remain. Patient visitors will continue to be limited, face masks are required and all patients and staff will be screened before entering the hospital.

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In addition, health care officials are establishing “rigorous cleaning and sanitizing processes” and will promote hand hygiene and social distancing.

The Cedar Rapids medical providers also are implementing new COVID-19 testing for patients before the surgery goes forward, to ensure that “local medical facilities are among the safest of all environments and patients can be fully confident in seeking the care they need.”

“The health care community’s guiding principles remain the same — protect our caregivers and patients, minimize contagion potential, reduce morbidity and preserve our health care system for the community we serve,” the joint news release stated.

Comments: (319) 398-8469; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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