About three dozen hospitals around New York will not be performing elective surgeries beginning tomorrow, December 9, 2021.

Through Executive Order No. 11 the New York State Department of Health and Governor Kathy Hochul mandated "limiting non-essential, non-urgent procedures at certain hospitals currently experiencing limited capacity" so that hospitals "currently experiencing limited capacity" can continue to provide "critical health care services" as the world continues to deal with the pandemic.

Governor Hochul said, "New York State has confirmed five cases of the omicron variant. Let me be clear: this is not cause for alarm, we knew this variant was coming and we expect to see more cases ... I want to remind all New Yorkers to use the tools they have at their disposal to keep themselves and their communities safe: get your vaccine, get your booster, and wear your mask. We will get through this."

Those hospitals directly impacted in Central New York include:

  • A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital (Bassett Healthcare Network) in Oneonta
  • Faxton Saint Luke's Healthcare (Mohawk Valley Health System) in Utica
  • Little Falls Hospital (Bassett Healthcare Network) in Little Falls
  • St. Elizabeth Medical Center (Mohawk Valley Health System)
  • St. Mary's Hospital and Healthcare in Amsterdam

Hospital administrator Dr. Kent Hall, Chief Physician Executive with the Mohawk Valley Health System, says that the hospitals must regularly check in to see if they are on the state's list of affected hospitals.  If a hospital is on the list Dr. Hall says that they must curtail elective procedures for the next two weeks.

He says that the suspension of elective procedures will impact hospitals financially.  Dr. Hall says those "procedures are probably the single largest revenue-generating activity - for all hospitals - not just ours.  We are going to work through that."

Dr. Hall says that doing the right thing as far as the public's health goes is the most important thing ad the financial considerations are secondary.  "Our mandate," he says, "is to take care of our community and we will manage our finances the best we can."

The decision to suspend non-surgical procedures is in effect until further notice.

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