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MetroHealth Prepares to Redeploy Staff For Possible Surge In COVID-19 Cases

MetroHealth has canceled certain procedures and appointments in order to free up health care providers in case of a surge in COVID-19 patients locally. 

The hospital system announced on Sunday it would postpone elective surgeries and convert many routine physicals to telehealth visits. It will also close several of its dental and eye clinics.

Vice President of Communications Joseph Frolik said the decision came partly to promote social distancing, but it’s also to redeploy staff members to other locations or departments if necessary. 

“It’s really all about giving us flexibility to use our workforce in a way that makes the most sense, particularly if we would get a large surge of patients,” he said.

Details about how providers might be retrained for different positions were not yet available. 

"It's a chain reaction type of thing," Frolik said. "There may be spots they can fill in. We're training people all the time to deal with the situation."

George Stamatis, a spokesperson for University Hospitals, says the system is not canceling their elective surgeries or endoscopy procedures at this time, and they will "follow the Governor’s guidance" about whether to postpone them.

St. Vincent Charity spokesperson Maureen Nagg said the hospital system is not currently planning to redeploy any of its caregivers to new roles.

Other hospital systems in the area did not respond immediately to requests for comment.


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