With Iowa seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases yet again, hospitals in the state's second-largest city are reverting to steps that hadn't been taken since last Fall. Iowa's News Now reports that both UnityPoint-St. Lukes and Mercy Medical Center will again limit "elective procedures" in their facilities.

It will preserve capacity for COVID admissions

In order to keep beds and rooms open for those who are admitted for complications relating to COVID-19, St. Lukes says it will limit elective procedures that require an overnight stay or longer to 10 per day, while Mercy will also temporarily reduce these procedures.

What is an "elective surgery"?

It is simply a procedure that can be scheduled in advance because it is voluntary and does not need to be urgently performed, such as cosmetic surgeries, weight-loss surgeries, tonsillectomies, and others. If you have such a procedure scheduled and it is being moved or rescheduled, you will be notified directly, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Mercy spokesperson Mark Wehr said, "it is a day-to-day decision based on census and affects only procedures that do not need to be done within the next four to six weeks."

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Other Iowa hospitals are doing the same

Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines has taken similar steps while the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City continue to assess, but have currently NOT made the decision to do so yet. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that each of Iowa's 99 counties is currently experiencing high rates of Coronavirus transmission.

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