LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – As the state of California and Los Angeles County continue the process of reopening businesses, Cedars-Sinai announced Monday that it will begin reopening medical offices which have been shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as resuming certain surgeries which were postponed.
It will begin a phased reopening process that will allow for in-person appointments and “medically necessary” surgeries to take place. The hospital said it has to ensure it has enough personal protective equipment to increase capacity at its outpatient clinics and operating rooms.
“The public health crisis required Cedars-Sinai and hospitals across the country to change the way they deliver care, prompting greater reliance on video visits and phone consultations,” the hospital said in a statement. “Based on guidance from county and state health authorities, Cedars-Sinai now is moving to expand direct outpatient and inpatient care while continuing to offer telehealth options that have proved highly popular among patients.”
Beginning in mid-March when the pandemic hit California, hospitals canceled elective surgeries in anticipation of the surge in coronavirus patients, which forced many Southern California hospitals to cut hours and shifts.
Furthermore, last month, Cedars-Sinai reported that it was seeing significantly fewer emergency room patients, likely out of fear of contracting the disease. The Cedars-Sinai ER saw 30 percent fewer patients between March 1 and April 15 compared to the same time period in 2019.
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus hospitalizations have continued to steadily decrease in L.A. County. There were 1,570 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday. Of those 27% are in ICUs and 20% are on ventilators.
“We do continue, here again, to see some small decreases in the number of people who are hospitalized,” L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said Monday.
The number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, 15% have required hospitalization.
“And again, that rate has dropped steadily the last two weeks,” she added.
Cedars-Sinai has implemented several new precautionary measures at its hospitals, outpatient clinics, urgent care centers, surgery centers and ERs which include:
- Temperature checks for anyone entering a facility.
- Face coverings for staff and visitors.
- Physical distancing in waiting rooms.
- Limiting visitors in outpatient and inpatient facilities.
- Designated areas for COVID-19 patients separate from other patients.
“Although our patients can continue to access our care through video visits or via phone during California’s stay-at-home order, we are excited to also welcome them back in person,” Cedars-Sinai Medical Network Vice President Dr. John E. Jenrette said in a statement.