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Summa Health to suspend many elective procedures starting December 1 due to COVID-19 surge

Summa says most elective procedures in the areas of surgical services, cardiology, endoscopy and interventional radiology will stop.

AKRON, Ohio — The Summa Health Medical Group has announced its intention to suspend a variety of elective services, including non-surgical procedures and cardiology procedures. 

Summa says the change is due to the continued rise in COVID-19 cases and will take effect at midnight on December 1. The move will not impact any of its emergency services.

The decision by Summa Health to suspend some of its elective surgeries and procedures comes as coronavirus cases in Ohio continue to spike. Earlier in the week, Governor Mike DeWine said that hospitals across the state were becoming 'overwhelmed.' 

Several doctors who joined DeWine during his briefing also spoke to the possibility of using convention centers as hospital-triage centers for COVID-19 hospitalizations, an idea discussed at the beginning of the pandemic. The doctors all agreed that the idea is not out of the realm of possibility, but that at the moment, most hospitals do not have enough staff to make these locations happen. 

On Saturday, the Ohio Department of Health reported more than 6,800 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, along with 32 new deaths and 302 additional hospitalizations.

You can read Summa Health's statement announcing its elective services suspension below:

"As the number of people infected with COVID-19 continues to rise across Ohio and throughout our community, it has become necessary for us to suspend a variety of elective services effective 12 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1. As a result, most elective procedures in the areas of Surgical Services, Cardiology, Endoscopy and Interventional Radiology will stop. This decision does not impact any of our emergency services across the organization. In addition, outpatient centers and Summa Health Medical Group offices remain open. For more information or questions, call 234-867-6314."

Editor's Note: The below story aired on November 26, 2020