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The Latest: Madison hospitals ramp up procedures

April 23, 2020 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak in Wisconsin (all times local):

10:55 a.m.

Madison hospitals announced Thursday that they were “slowly resuming” postponed procedures and nonurgent surgeries put on hold since mid-March as levels of coronavirus cases level off.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that UW Health, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital and UnityPoint Health-Meriter also said people should use their emergency rooms if needed.

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“Postponements cannot continue indefinitely for most patients, and the urgency or necessity of procedures requires that we move to accommodate patient needs to avoid complications and improve their quality of life,” the hospitals said.

Hospitals in Madison and across the state postponed elective procedures in mid-March as COVID-19 spread. Their goal was to increase capacity to deal with a surge in coronavirus patients. The hospitals said they have been able to isolate and treat COVID-19 patients without putting others at risk, but “we are still very far from returning to business as usual.”

As of Thursday, 29 hospitals in southcentral Wisconsin had a combined 39 patients with COVID-19, 14 of them in intensive care units. Statewide, there were 352 people with COVID-19 being treated at hospitals, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

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