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St. Luke's pausing some inpatient surgeries due to rebound in COVID-19 activity

The pauses by Idaho's largest health system are currently scheduled to last 11 days, and do not apply to procedures that don't require an overnight stay.

BOISE, Idaho — As COVID-19 cases again increase in much of Idaho, St. Luke's Health System is pausing some elective inpatient surgeries and other procedures that require an overnight hospital stay.

St. Luke's in a news release Wednesday also cited "sustained high patient volumes" in its medical centers and the need to proactively manage its capacity for care as reasons for the decision.

The pause is in effect August 9-20 at St. Luke's Magic Valley, and August 16-27 at St. Luke's Boise, Meridian and Nampa hospitals, according to information posted on the health system's COVID-related service updates web page.

It does not apply to outpatient surgeries or procedures that do not require an overnight hospital stay.

"We strongly encourage and are appealing to individuals to take measures to decrease the spread of COVID-19, including vaccinations for those who are eligible, and wearing a mask indoors whenever you are around individuals who are not part of your immediate family," said Dr. Jim Souza, chief physician executive for St. Luke's. "Providing care to all who need it is our priority and our mission; we hope everyone will take the necessary steps."

St. Luke's also paused some elective inpatient procedures for a time in 2020; officials say as with prior COVID surges, they'll adjust services dependent on the overall capacity for care.

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