MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – At the urging of the U.S. Surgeon General and multiple professional medical societies, WVU Medicine will defer all elective, non-emergent surgeries and gastrointestinal (GI) procedures starting Thursday, March 19, until Friday, May 15.
WVU Medicine, also known as the WVU Health System, includes J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital and WVU Medicine Children’s in Morgantown; Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg; Braxton County Memorial Hospital in Gassaway; Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg; Jackson General Hospital in Ripley; Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson; Potomac Valley Hospital in Keyser; Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale; St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon; Summersville Regional Medical Center in Summersville; and United Hospital Center in Bridgeport.
The working definition of an “elective surgery or procedure” is one that can be safely deferred until after May 15. The decision to defer an elective surgery or procedure is at the discretion of the surgeon or the proceduralist, who has the final authority to determine if the procedure or surgery is truly elective. WVU Medicine will rely on individual physician discretion to determine which cases are delayed. WVU Medicine will contact patients regarding their scheduled elective procedures and surgeries.
The decision to defer elective surgeries and procedures comes on the heels of WVU Medicine’s decision to restrict visitation at all of its hospitals.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, due to the rapidly changing nature of the spread of COVID-19 around the world, it is important for families and businesses to remain calm and prepare for potential community spread.
The best steps to help prevent contracting COVID-19 are to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Lather for at least 20 seconds every time. If no soap is available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough with a tissue or the bend of your elbow.
- Use the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use.
- Avoid contact with sick individuals.
- Utilize social distancing when possible.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, such as your mobile phone.
- Stay home if you are sick, unless seeking medical attention.
If you develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath and currently have an appointment scheduled at a clinic or plan to visit the emergency department or urgent care, please call ahead. Tell your healthcare professional about any recent travel.