essential surgeries

Signs on the catwalk of the OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in Columbus on May 6, 2020.
David Holm / WOSU

Franklin County is the first county to reach a "purple" level on the state's color-coded COVID-19 warning map, and Gov. Mike DeWine says that's having an impact on local hospitals.

Updated: 4:20 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13, 2020

As COVID-19 cases are soaring across Ohio and here in Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Clinic is postponing non-essential surgical procedures that require a hospital stay until Friday, Nov. 20 to free up beds and staffing for potential COVID-19 patients.

The health system initially paused surgeries for two days, but extended the postponement to a week on Friday, officials said. They will reevaluate surgical cases on an ongoing basis, a Clinic spokesperson said.

Registered Nurse Janice Tatonetti, right, takes the temperature of Harry Pearson before he votes in Ohio's primary election at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

The nurse I’m speaking with over Zoom is rolling dough while her kids play in the background. She’s making three loaves of bread.

“I’m used to doing like a million things at once, so I can talk,” she assures me.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday a partial rollback on his ban on elective medical procedures in Ohio — the same day University Hospitals announced staff pay cuts. Less than 24 hours later, UH also said it plans to shut down some emergency services by the end of the month.

Urgent care at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, on March 31, 2020.
David Holm / WOSU

Thousands of Ohioans whose elective procedures were postponed as a result of the state’s coronavirus outbreak will soon be able to access the treatment they need. Gov. Mike DeWine said the state is easing its restrictions on medical centers, and first priority will be given to patients awaiting surgeries.

Planned Parenthood clinics in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada are reporting an influx of patients from Texas, after an order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott suspending most abortions in that state during the coronavirus pandemic.

Governors across the country are banning elective surgery as a means of halting the spread of the coronavirus. But in a handful of states that ban is being extended to include a ban on all abortions.

So far the courts have intervened to keep most clinics open. The outlier is Texas, where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit this week upheld the governor's abortion ban.

A sign is displayed at Planned Parenthood of Utah Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Salt Lake City.
Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

A panel of three federal court judges won’t get involved in a dispute over abortion and the state’s coronavirus order regarding elective surgery – which will keep facilities that perform abortions open for now.

This Feb, 25, 2020 file photo show the Preterm building, the busiest abortion clinic in Ohio, in Cleveland. Officials in Texas and Ohio are taking steps aimed at banning most abortions during this phase of the coronavirus outbreak.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

A federal judge on Thursday denied a request to throw out a temporary restraining order that blocks Ohio from banning surgical abortions during the coronavirus pandemic. The Ohio Attorney General is appealing the ruling.

A sign is displayed at Planned Parenthood of Utah Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Salt Lake City.
Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

A federal judge has temporarily blocked Ohio from banning surgical abortions as part of state restrictions on non-essential procedures during the coronavirus pandemic.