East Tennessee hospitals say COVID-19 surge could affect elective procedures

Hospitals around Knoxville, Tenn., are warning that their volume of elective procedures may be affected if the number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 remains high. 

State-submitted hospital data showed the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the East Tennessee region more than doubled over the last month, begins a joint Oct. 27 news release from Covenant Health, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Tennova Healthcare and The University of Tennessee Medical Center. Healthcare workers at nearly 20 hospitals that provide data for the state reports continue to be watchful, as COVID-19 cases in Tennessee reached a daily high on Oct. 23 with more than 3,600 positive cases reported, the hospitals said. 

“The higher number of COVID-19 patients is still being managed safely by local hospitals, but a further surge could mean that the volume of elective procedures may be affected,” the news release states. 

If there is a major surge of new cases in the East Tennessee region, it could jeopardize hospitals’ ability to best serve patients who need hospital care for situations such as heart disease, surgery, traumas and injuries, and other major illnesses, the news release states. 

Hospitals said residents can help curb the spread of COVID-19 by wearing cloth face-coverings, practicing proper handwashing, cleaning surfaces and staying home if they are sick. Hospitals also recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months get the flu vaccine. 


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