JAMESTOWN – Thirty-two upstate New York hospitals, including UPMC Chautauqua in Jamestown, have suspended non-essential elective surgeries to help relieve stress caused by a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The order, announced by Governor Kathy Hochul, applies to hospitals that have less than 10 percent bed capacity available. She said the state will reassess the pauses on Jan. 15.
Health officials say despite concerns about the omicron variant, the uptick in hospitalizations and cases reflects the delta variant’s spread.
“We expect these numbers to continue to rise, and at this point, we are prepared to say what we have is community spread,” Hochul said. “It is not coming from people who have traveled.”
There are now 20 confirmed cases of the new omicron variant in the state, with 13 of them in New York City, three in Suffolk County, two Oneida County, one in Westchester County and one in Broome County, Hochul said.