February 5, 2023

Which NY hospitals will halt elective health care? See the final list

State officials have revealed the list of 32 hospitals halting elective health care to free up beds in the face of surging COVID-19 outbreaks and staffing shortages.

The list included 12 hospitals in the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, as well as 20 hospitals in Western New York, Central New York, the North Country and Capital Region. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday described the measure as an attempt to boost bed capacity in regions being hit hardest by COVID-19 surges, while monitoring the issue in other communities with lower infection rates. 

“We did not want to return to a scenario in the early months of the pandemic when there was a wholesale shutting down of elective surgeries, regardless of what the infection rate was in a region,” she said during a briefing in Manhattan, referring to the initial pandemic wave in spring 2020.

Gov. Kathy Hochul during a press briefing in Manhattan.

Last week, state officials announced some hospitals would halt elective care on Friday, but the state Department of Health issued final guidelines late Friday that shifted the timeline to this week.

Under the guidelines, hospitals on the so-called impacted facilities list will be required to halt elective care for at least two weeks, beginning Thursday.

The Health Department will determine weekly if more hospitals will be added to the list of those halting elective care.  

The move comes as New York reported 3,285 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 statewide as of Sunday, which comes after months of steadily rising hospitalizations.

Kendall Piccirilli, a nurse at Unity Hospital in Greece, New York, gets a patient's medication on Oct. 27, 2021.

In some upstate communities, the COVID-19 hospitalization trends were outpacing the same period last year, when holiday season gatherings fueled outbreaks that peaked in January.

The daily COVID-19 death toll in New York has been slowly increasing in recent weeks but remained at 49 on Sunday, a silver-lining that Hochul has repeatedly attributed to New York’s high vaccination rates, especially among the frail and elderly, who are some of most vulnerable to the respiratory disease.