Elective Surgeries Postponed in Ohio Hospitals​

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                              MEDIA CONTACTS:
March 17, 2020                                                              Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 
                                                                                     Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today the the Ohio Department of Health has issued an order declaring that elective surgeries and procedures in Ohio’s hospitals be postponed in an effort to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and first responders.

March 18, 2020

Like SARS, COVID-19 is associated with stigma and discrimination

For public health practitioners, applying a holistic lens to the novel outbreak identifies another important parallel to Canada’s SARS experience: the growing risk to health associated with a rise in stigma and discrimination based on race. [7]

Resurgent narratives and stereotypes have already disproportionately impacted Chinese people and those who are read as Chinese in Canada and around the world. [8] The Canadian government has tried to strike a balance between vigilance and openness (see the official Canadian response, [9] as well as current travel advisories [10] and Twitter updates from Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam). [11] However, growing discrimination has been observed. As of February 16, 2020, over 55 countries have imposed travel bans or restrictions on Chinese nationals or non-citizens who have visited Mainland China, including Australia, New Zealand and the United States. [6]

US politicians have advanced unfounded conspiracy theories around the origins of the virus. [12] Discrimination has been reported against people who are read as Chinese, including: [13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20]

  • acts of bullying;
  • verbal and physical attacks;
  • evictions;
  • targeted nuisance calls;
  • avoidance of businesses;
  • petitions against the inclusion of students in schools; and
  • Uber and Lyft drivers refusing to pick up patrons.

Following an outbreak of the virus in Iran, reports of anti-Iranian racism and avoidance of Iranian-Canadian businesses have also emerged. [21]

For those who experience discrimination related to COVID-19, there are longer-term risks to health

In Canada, racist incidents increase the risk of perpetuating stereotypes and driving health inequities. This is particularly true for people who are newly arrived and those with fewer financial resources. Exclusion and avoidance drive losses in opportunity, income and social capital, which in turn can negatively impact health status through bankruptcy, social isolation, isolation, stress and trauma. [22,23]

As an example, bullying and aggression can threaten one’s sense of security and well-being; for children and youth, even a single altercation can have detrimental impacts over the life course. [22,23] Stigma also presents barriers to accessing essential health and social services. More specifically, evidence suggests that many individuals might delay seeking care or avoid fully disclosing health conditions out of fear of being denied service or treated with bias. [22]

The order will go into effect at the end of business on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) has estimated that the amount of PPE that Ohio will need during the COVID-19 pandemic is equal to the amount of PPE available nationally. 

“By postponing elective hospital procedures that are safe to delay, we can protect patients and providers,” said Governor DeWine. “This will also help us preserve critically short supplies of PPE and preserve inpatient beds and other equipment for critically ill patients.” 

OHA developed guidelines for healthcare providers for the management of non-essential surgeries and procedures in Ohio. Surgeries or procedures will be delayed unless there is a: 

  • Threat to the patient’s life if surgery or procedure is not performed;
  • Threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system;
  • Risk of metastasis or progression of staging;
  • Risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms. 

In order to preserve PPE, only individuals who are essential to conducting the surgery or procedure shall be in the surgery or procedure suite or other patient care areas where PPE is required. Each hospital and outpatient surgery or procedure provider shall establish an internal governance structure to ensure the principles outlined above are followed. 


Governor DeWine today also signed an executive order establishing a temporary pandemic child care license that allows the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to provide child care to families where parents work in the health, safety, and essential service fields during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency will issue temporary pandemic child care licenses to ensure communities have access to child care.

“It is important that professionals who are essential to protecting the public, are able to ensure their families are have safe places to go while they are at work,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Helping to address this need, allows our health and safety providers to focus on protecting and caring for all Ohioans.”

New temporary pandemic child care centers will operate under reduced regulations focused solely on the health and safety of children. Pandemic child care center licenses can be granted to already existing child care centers or new child care centers that may be created in response to community needs.

For more information visit jfs.ohio.gov

There are currently 67 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 16 Ohio counties including: Belmont (2); Butler (6); Coshocton (2); Cuyahoga (31); Darke (1); Franklin (4); Geauga (1); Lake (1); Lorain (4); Lucas (1); Mahoning (1); Medina (3); Stark (3); Summit (4); Trumbull (2); Tuscarawas (1). Seventeen of these individuals are hospitalized. 

Video of today’s full update can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s website.

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Charitable Healthcare and COVID-19: 
Protocols, Facebook Group, and Resources

In response to many members’ concerns regarding seeing vulnerable patients during the Coronavirus pandemic, CHN staff has prepared the following screening protocol. Please note: these guidelines are based on the most up-to-date information we have at this time. We know that information changes dramatically from day-to-day, and that the capacity of each  organization varies. As such, we recommend that you consult your medical director in order to implement the best policies for your clinic or organization.


Re:      Coronavirus and Services Update

We value the health and safety of our patients, partners, staff and community residents as our top priorities.  We are actively monitoring guidance from local, state and federal authorities to do our part to support the health of the entire community during this emergency. Our partner agencies and your clients/customers/patients will still have access to our services at our open locations. 

Based on staff shortages, assessment of upcoming patient visits, and the COVID-19 emergency, several health centers will be closing and all available team members from those sites (practitioners, nurses, medical assistants, etc.) will be asked to assist at one of the sites that will remain open. 

Health Center Site Changes

Effective March 23, 2020

The following health centers will be closing effective March 23, 2020 until further notice:  (staff will be relocated to one of the remaining open health centers) 

Alum Creek East Livingston
East Broad Street South High Street
East 17th Avenue Vision and Dental Offices at E. Main Street and W. Broad Street

*Vision – emergency services at E. Main only

The following health centers will remain open for now during this emergency:

Agler Rd East Main Street
Circleville Parsons Avenue
Dental Offices at Parson’s Avenue (Non Elective Services) West Broad Street

          All Saturday hours will be suspended

Please encourage your staff to closely monitor our website www.primaryonehealth.org for additional updates.

Administrative Operations Changes

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020

The following administrative departments and staff will be phased to work virtually during the emergency:

Administrative Assistance and Support* Finance and Accounting Pharmacy/340B Administrative Staff
Behavioral Health Administrative Staff Information Technology Quality Assurance and Improvement
Billing Human Resources Scheduling/Templates
Credentialing Marketing Strategic Projects
Compliance Managed Care Organization  

Patient Navigation Center staff, Medical Record team, and Referral team will work within the existing offices, but each work location will provide at a minimum six feet distance from the next workstation.

We will still be available for our partners who may have questions or need assistance in any of these areas. Please visit our website for updated information.

Suspended Programs and Services

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020

The following programs will be closed until further notice:

  • Administrative Interns program
  • CenteringPregnancy®
  • Nutrition education programs (Telehealth only)
  • Preceptors that shadow only
  • Physical Therapy
  • Walk-In/Open Access Service (Telehealth only)
  • Weight Loss programs (Telehealth only)

Please visit our website for additional updates.

As mentioned, we are continuing to stay informed and educated on the guidance from the CDC, Ohio Health Department and the Columbus Public Health regarding COVID-19. We appreciate your partnership and commitment to ensuring that we continue to provide facts and not fear among our staff, patients, partners and residents. We look forward to continuing to work with you in serving our community and preparing for all contingencies.

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