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St. Tammany hospital postponing some surgeries amid spiking COVID-19 hospitalizations

The health system said the change was made to “proactively manage” its inpatient capacity.
Credit: Getty Images

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. — The St. Tammany Health System says it is now working with surgeons to reschedule surgeries that are not time-sensitive or require overnight hospital stays as COVID-19 hospitalizations spike across Louisiana.

The health system said the change was made to “proactively manage” its inpatient capacity. As of Tuesday, there were 35 of the hospital system’s 157 patients were in COVID care, a net increase of one compared to last week.

Last week, the hospital system said it was working to adjust inpatient admissions for elective surgeries to brace for an influx of COVID patients.

As of Monday, 179 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state health department’s region nine, which includes St. Tammany, Washington, Tangipahoa, Livingston, and St. Helena parishes. That total surpasses the peak of 159 patients hospitalized at a single time during the state’s second surge of the virus.

The total is still below the peak of 234 coronavirus patients hospitalized in region nine on April 11, during the outbreak’s early weeks.

Data from the Louisiana Department of Health shows only 26 intensive care unit beds, roughly 17 percent of region nine’s total, were not in use on Monday.

The Louisiana Department of Health reported on Tuesday that 1,516 patients are hospitalized across the state with COVID-19. Of those patients, 165 require ventilators.

The net rise of 93 hospitalizations on Tuesday marks the largest single-day increase in hospitalizations since April 7. 

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