In an effort to protect patients and caregivers from the spread of COVID-19 infection, a group of St. Louis health care providers including BJC HealthCare and its partners at Washington University School of Medicine, Mercy, SSM Health and its partners at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and St. Luke’s Hospital have announced the cancellation of elective procedures, effective Monday, March 23.

“This measure is intended to ensure that only urgent or time-sensitive procedures are provided, to protect our caregivers and the communities we serve, and to conserve the resources needed for the COVID-19 health crisis," the health systems said in a joint statement. “Our regional health systems have been working together, and will continue to do so, to consistently and transparently address issues our communities are encountering during this epidemic.”

“Elective” care is classified as care that can be delayed for eight weeks or more without risk to patients or families, and without compromising standards of care. These actions are in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American College of Surgeons, the Surgeon General and other specialty organizations.

The health systems will reevaluate processes as the situation evolves and will provide notice when it’s appropriate to resume normal processes.

Patients who currently have elective health procedures scheduled will be contacted by their health care provider to discuss rescheduling. If patients have a procedure scheduled and are unsure of its status, it’s recommended to contact your physician or care provider.

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