Non-emergency surgeries and procedures have been canceled at Regional Medical Center in Anniston to free up staff and space to treat more COVID-19 patients, the hospital announced.
According to a release sent Tuesday evening, the change begins Wednesday and affects the hospital’s surgical services, the gastroenterology lab and the cardiac catheterization lab. Staff members from those departments will be reassigned to assist in the intensive care unit and for emergency surgeries and care.
“As a community based health system, our top priority is to meet the needs of our community,” Louis Bass, RMC chief executive officer, was quoted as saying in the release. “We understand the hardship this will place on our physicians in the short term, but we also know this decision will allow us to best serve patients in their time of need.”
The hospital has seen a surge of coronavirus cases since Nov. 28 and expects to see that trend continue “as a direct result of holiday gatherings,” according to the release.
Attempts to reach hospital representatives were unsuccessful Wednesday afternoon.
According to the hospital’s COVID-19 information page, there were 66 known positive COVID-19 patients at RMC as of Tuesday evening. Calhoun County’s positive cases total more than 9,345, according to the hospital.