Grady Hospital cancels non-essential procedures after weekend surge

Ambulances parked outside Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. (Eli Jordan, FOX 5 Atlanta / FOX 5 Atlanta)

Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital is canceling all of its non-essential outpatient surgeries and procedures as the hospital deals with a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Grady CEO John M. Haupert says the decision was made after a "labor-intensive" Labor Day weekend at the hospital.

"Seriously ill patients with COVID-19 and other significant health issues inundated the hospital," Haupert said. "And because other hospitals in the area are just as full, our weekend-long total diversion status did little to slow the steady stream of ambulance-delivered patients." 

Due to the strain, the hospital is canceling all non-essential outpatient surgery and procedures starting Wednesday until they can be resumed at a later date.

"We are working through this as best we can, all while watching closely for a potential post-holiday COVID-19 surge," Haupert said. "We realize this is a decision that will inconvenience our patients but is necessary under these extraordinary circumstances to keep our patients and staff safe."

The hospital decision comes as more Georgians get diagnosed with the virus than ever before. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, a total of 93,656 new cases were reported in the last two weeks.

The rise in cases has caused major problems for hospitals across the state. As of Wednesday, health officials report 13,136 inpatient beds are in use, or 85.2% of capacity. In the case of Georgia's ICU beds, 96.5% - or nearly 3,000 - are in use currently.

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