COVID order limits Fox Hospital elective procedures

 Vicky Klukkert | The Daily Star

 A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta is shown Thursday, Dec. 9.

 Non-essential elective procedures were halted at A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta for two weeks, Bassett Healthcare Network announced Thursday, Dec. 9.

The suspension of the procedures at the Oneonta hospital is “a directive from the New York State Department of Health with which we are complying,” said Gabrielle Argo, interim network manager, marketing and communications for Bassett Healthcare Network.

On Dec. 3, the state DOH issued an executive order whereby hospitals that have occupancies of 90% or more are precluded from offering some elective procedures, a media release said.

“Unlike last year, thankfully, there are much broader parameters for hospitals to work with as they make daily decisions,” Argo said. “Postponements are occurring on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of a patient’s physician and care team. Whenever possible, we are attempting to relocate procedures to other facilities in the network, like Oneonta Specialty Services.”

The only other Bassett Healthcare Network hospital that is restricted at this time by the executive order is the Little Falls Hospital, the release said. However, the DOH will continue to monitor hospital occupancies and may add additional facilities to the list if occupancies reach critical levels.

“Affected patients will be contacted directly by their practitioner’s office and we are doing everything possible to accommodate them,” Argo said. “We also appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.”

Urgent and emergency procedures, such as trauma, cancer diagnostic, brain and heart surgeries and other critical procedures will continue to be performed, the release said.

Following the two-week period, capacities at affected hospitals will be reassessed, the release said.

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Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_VickyK on Twitter.

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