Sentara Healthcare has postponed all hospital-based non-emergency surgeries, procedures and diagnostic testing starting Monday due to the surge in COVID-19 patients being treated at their hospitals in Elizabeth City and across Virginia.
The hospital system reported last week they are currently treating more COVID-19 patients than ever before, with the total doubling within a week and more than quadruple within the last month, stretching the company’s staff “to their capacity.”
All impacted procedures, surgeries and diagnostic testing will be rescheduled to a later date after the current surge has passed, and those with a surgery or procedure that has been postponed are being contacted directly with further information.
Patients who were contacted by Sentara on Friday said they were told it will be at least two weeks before procedures would be rescheduled.
“The current strain on all healthcare facilities is undeniable. We must balance the urgent need to care for large numbers of COVID-19 patients with what is being asked of our dedicated staff,” said Mike Gentry, Sentara Healthcare Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “We cannot care for our community without first supporting our team members as they so expertly manage this large number of patients.”
The current pause on non-emergent procedures, surgeries and diagnostic testing will allow us to reassign skilled team members to other areas with a more urgent need. All lifesaving and emergency surgeries and procedures will continue. Patients in need of medical care can still utilize a virtual care appointment, an in-office visit with Sentara Medical Group, or visit a Sentara emergency room if urgent.
We thank our patients and family members for their understanding and support. Our focus remains on the health and wellbeing of our community.
What to do if your procedure, surgery or diagnostic test is postponed:
- Patients whose non-emergent surgery, procedure or test has been rescheduled will be contacted directly by their physician or a Sentara care team member.
- Patients will be given further instructions by their Sentara care team and resources to address any questions.
- Patients should stay in contact with their physicians and care team and discuss any changes in their health or medical condition.
- Delayed procedures, surgeries and diagnostic testing will be rescheduled as soon as we are able to do so.
How to Stay Safe During COVID-19:
- The majority our hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, even during the Omicron surge. Those who are fully vaccinated and hospitalized have other medical conditions that put them at high-risk. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot is the best way to protect yourself and others from severe illness. Find a vaccine provider near you by visiting www.vaccinefinder.org.
- Because the current COVID-19 variant is more transmissible, there is higher risk for infection throughout our communities. We recommend you wear a mask in all public locations (indoors or outdoors) and avoid large crowds and gatherings.
- Stay home if you are sick. If you start to develop mild COVID-19 symptoms, isolate at home, get tested for COVID-19 if you can and follow CDC isolation guidelines. Visit www.Sentara.com/testing to find a testing location near you.