13 hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgeries amid surge

September 10, 2021 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Thirteen Utah hospitals will postpone many non-emergency surgeries starting next week as health care workers are overwhelmed by another surge in COVID-19 cases from the faster-spreading delta variant, a major health care company said Friday.

Intermountain Healthcare announced that the hospitals will postpone non-urgent procedures for several weeks starting Sept. 15. The announcement comes a week after state hospital leaders made emotional pleas for vaccinations and universal masking to prevent the state’s ongoing COVID-19 surge.

Hospital utilization in Utah is nearing its previous peak in December when ICUs were 104% full and 606 people were hospitalized. There were 516 people hospitalized for COVID-19 and ICUs were 93% full as of Thursday, state data shows.

About 62% of Utah residents ages 12 and older were fully vaccinated as of Thursday. Utah reported 10 new deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 2,703.

Several Utah hospitals postponed non-emergency surgeries at the start of the pandemic in 2020 to alleviate some of the strain on health care networks.