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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Rise In Hospitalizations Causes UC Health To Forgo Elective Surgeries

Courtesy of UC Health

Due to a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, UC Health hospitals will be suspending elective surgeries for the near future. This comes two weeks after UC Health implemented initial surge operations, which reduced half of the elective operations.

Now, only medically necessary and time-sensitive operations will be performed. ICU capacity will also be expanded and emergency care will continue as normal at the UC Medical Center and West Chester Hospital.

According to the Ohio Hospital Association, one in four hospital patients in southwest Ohio have COVID-19. That same trend is seen statewide.

A release from UC Health said COVID-19 patients require the highest level of care and tend to stay in the hospital longer than other patients.

On Nov. 28, Dr. Syed Ahmad with the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center tweeted that he received an email from work stating that the hospital was full and that all elective surgeries were cancelled.

More than 33,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the county since the pandemic began. The county is averaging roughly 4,000 new cases a week.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.