Delays on select surgeries on November 15 at MercyOne due to COVID surge

(ABC 6 News) – Due to limited capacity, MercyOne North Iowa will delay non-emergent surgeries requiring an overnight hospital stay on November 15.

The recent surge of COVID-19 cases and spread of the Delta variant places MercyOne North Iowa alongside other hospitals across the country experiencing a demand for patient beds greater than the number of beds available.

MercyOne North Iowa said in a release, "The situation has led to a thoughtful but difficult decision to delay any non-emergent surgeries requiring an overnight hospital stay on November 15."

“We are currently caring for a total of 36 COVID-19 cases at MercyOne North Iowa and this impacts our ability to provide all services,” said Dr. Paul Manternach, chief medical officer. “A recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases on our West Campus skilled nursing unit has caused us to pause admissions through the weekend to that unit. This, coupled with the recent need to temporarily redirect hospice patients to our regular inpatient units, puts an extra strain on our staffing resources.”

Dr. Manternach went on to say, “North Iowa, and Cerro Gordo county in particular, are listed by the CDC as an area of high community transmission. This regional high prevalence rate impacts our ability to discharge and transfer patients which further strains our bed capacity. Our hospital staff are tired, and we are in need of your assistance. Follow safe health practices to mitigate the stresses on our health care systems. We strongly encourage you to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Wear your mask when you are in public. Wash your hands frequently and consider staying out of crowds, especially at indoor events. We must find a way to end this surge of COVID-19 and put an end to this pandemic. The vaccine remains the best way to protect you and your family.”

MercyOne remains committed to the safety of our patients, visitors, colleagues, physicians, and communities. We continually work to ensure we can provide the care you need.

MercyOne North Iowa continues to evaluate this quickly evolving situation.