Strong Hospital to pause scheduling new elective surgeries for two weeks beginning Monday

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Strong Memorial Hospital will start a two-week pause in scheduling new elective procedures, effective Monday.

The University of Rochester Medical Center made the announcement in a COVID update Thursday morning. The announcement comes just days before a state mandate requiring all healthcare workers to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or risk losing their jobs takes effect.

URMC is also changing its lab hours starting Tuesday, Sept. 28. The changes are tentative and subject to change. The latest information is available here.

Rochester Regional Health is also temporarily redirecting patients at some labs starting Monday, Sept. 27:

  • Patients going to the Main Street location in Batavia will be redirected to the Bank Street location.
  • Patients going to the 30 Linden Oaks location in Brighton will be redirected to 10 Linden Oaks.
  • Patients going to the 4th Section Road location in Brockport will be redirected to 80 West Ave. in Brockport.
  • Patients going to the 3101 West Ridge Rd. location or the Island Cottage Road location in Greece will be redirected to the Ridgeway Avenue, Stone Road location in Greece.
  • Patients going to the Titus Avenue location in Irondequoit will be redirected to Riedman Health Center, Culver Ridge
    Rochester- RGH POS, Wilson.
  • Patients going to the Land Re Way location in Spencerport will be redirected to the Elmgrove Road location in Gates or the 80 West Ave. location in Brockport.

On Saturdays only, patients going to Rochester Regional’s West Main Street lab in Honeoye Falls will be redirected to the Westfall Road location in Brighton and patients going to the Wilson location in Rochester will be redirected to the Culver Ridge Rochester- RGH POS location in Irondequoit.

Rochester Regional said those changes are temporary, but did not give a specific date for when they will reverse the changes.

Highland Hospital already postponed a small number of scheduled elective procedures.

UR’s Chief Medical Officer Michael Apostolakos said despite the pause on new scheduled procedures, emergency services and critical care will continue, however, patients should expect longer wait times.

He said hospitals are developing flexible contingency plans based on best-case and worst-case scenarios depending on how staff members choose not to get the vaccine.

Hospital officials say long-term care patients are already backing up in both of Rochester’s major hospital systems due to a staffing shortage.

Staffing issues predated the mandate, which has lead to the temporary closing of Farmington Urgent Care. For weeks now thousands of people have been rallying outside Strong in opposition of the mandate.

Within the same announcement, however, Apostolakos said 99% of professional medical staff and 91% of all employees across the six UR hospitals were partially or fully vaccinated as of Monday.

This is a developing story.