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Penn State Health clarifies status of surgeries at its hospitals

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Penn State Health is reiterating that surgeries – from high-priority to elective procedures – are being actively scheduled at all of its hospitals. Surgeries are not being canceled and patients are not being turned away. Moreover, patients who are scheduled for surgery should assume those plans are intact unless they are contacted by their provider.

Each day, teams at Hershey Medical Center, Holy Spirit Medical Center and St. Joseph Medical Center review surgery schedules. They also examine the current COVID-19 inpatient numbers, as well as staffing and availability of supplies, personal protective equipment and intensive care unit beds. With that information, they ensure that our hospitals are able to safely provide necessary care to COVID and non-COVID patients alike.

Amid the current surge in COVID-19 cases, Hershey Medical Center and Holy Spirit Medical Center have rescheduled fewer than 10 surgeries. (St. Joseph Medical Center has rescheduled none.) In all cases, the short-term delays did not affect outcomes. Meantime, additional surgeries are being scheduled for the earliest available dates, which at Hershey Medical Center are currently the week of Dec. 21. These surgeries are taking place under all necessary safety protocols, including those designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Over the last ten months, we have learned a lot about how to actively care for both COVID and non-COVID patients amid this pandemic. We also have learned that delays of certain procedures can make care more complex and difficult. For that reason, we remain committed to providing timely care to these patients – and to all individuals who require our services.

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