COVID-19 cases are surging and those in the medical profession continue to warn the public that if certain guidance isn't followed, their facilities could become overwhelmed.  Not just with Coronavirus cases but also other illnesses and injuries that require critical and urgent care and treatment.

Linn County Public Health has come out with new guidance and safety procedures for the public heading into the Thanksgiving holiday that will parallel those given by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that with hospitalizations for the virus reaching another record high Thursday (1,208 total patients, 215 of which were in intensive care units and 101 requiring ventilators), the two major Cedar Rapids hospitals, Mercy and UnityPoint St. Luke's, were prompted to collectively announce a joint measure, one that hasn't been enacted since Spring, of what they call "preserving staff capacity". Both will suspend certain elective and non-critical surgical procedures that require an overnight stay through at least November 20. Procedures that require an overnight, postoperative bed at the hospitals will also not be scheduled until after that date.

Patients with already scheduled visits under those circumstances, will be notified about rescheduling.

Officials at both hospitals say the intent is to keep beds in their facilities free and PPE available for use by staff as much as possible in the event of more rising COVID-19 admissions. Walk-in/urgent care clinics and primary care facilities will remain open and available.

They follow suit with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, who have enacted many of the same measures. On a related note, Mercy Iowa City and UnityPoint-Waterloo officials are making similar decisions, with specifics unspecified by the Gazette story.

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