With a surge in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases expected in the coming days, University Hospitals has decided to preemptively close two of its emergency rooms in order to reallocate resources to properly respond.
Beginning on Saturday at 7 a.m., the emergency units at UH Andover and UH North Ridgeville will be temporarily closed. Patients receiving emergency treatment at that time the units close will remain in the department until their care is complete and are discharged to either their home or another care location. Other ambulatory services will remain open as aligned with UH’s response to the coronavirus.
In a press release, UH explained the decision to close the two emergency rooms was made with the following goals in mind.
- To re-assign clinical and nonclinical staff to apply their skills at COVID-19 surge locations.
- To optimize resources by re-allocating PPE, ventilators and supplies across the system.
- To re-align UH capacities due to lower ED volumes and declining EMS traffic since Governor Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order.
In order to make the public aware, UH Ambulatory Operations leaders are notifying community leaders and first responders in and around the respective areas. Prominent signage will also be used to encourage patients to seek care at alternative emergency departments in Ashtabula, Geauga, Lorain and western Cuyahoga counties.
UH said it will assess and adjust as necessary to provide for the optimal health of patients, caregivers and the community as the coronavirus pandemic progresses.