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Citing COVID-19, UCHealth Postponing Some Surgeries, Taking Other Steps

DENVER (CBS4) - Facing a large surge of COVID-19 patients, UCHealth on Friday told employees the hospital system is taking numerous steps including:

- Planning to postpone non-emergent surgeries that would lead to hospital admission. They began postponing a small number of surgeries this week.
- Opening surge units including closed units
- Highly recommending eye protection for employees and now requiring all employees to wear medical-grade masks "at minimum."
- Reducing patient visits which are being cut to only one visitor per day during visitation hours

(credit: CBS)

The steps were outlined by UCHealth CEO Elizabeth Concordia who wrote that in the last two weeks, the hospital system's total number of hospitalized patients nearly doubled from 115 patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19 to 220 patients.

"This is the large surge of patients that we have spent months preparing for while hoping it wouldn't occur," said Concordia.

"The coming weeks are likely to be difficult," she said.

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(credit: CBS)

She told employees that to manage COVID-19 testing demand, "We are reducing the number of tests we can provide to asymptomatic patients. A new testing system is being installed now and will be ready by mid-November which will increase our overall testing capacity."

Concordia said that UCHealth has not yet seen any influenza-related hospitalizations during this flu season. She said the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports that of almost 2,500 flu tests done over the last week, there has been only one positive result.

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