News of Otsego County

Elective Surgery

Suffolk, Westchester Join 49 Counties That Allow Elective Surgery


Suffolk, Westchester

Join 49 Counties That

Allow Elective Surgery

Also, Horse Racing To Resume June 1

ALBANY – The two hardest hit counties outside New York City – suburban Westchester and Long Island’s Suffolk – are now eligible to resume elective surgeries and ambulatory, Governor Cuomo announced today at his daily briefing.

They join 49 other New York State counties where hospitals can also do so, including Otsego.

He also:

Bassett, Fox Allowed To Do Elective Surgery

Bassett, Fox Allowed

To Do Elective Surgery

COOPERSTOWN – Bassett Medical Center and Fox Hospital in Oneonta have been given the go-ahead to resume elective surgeries (outpatient) and non-urgent outpatient procedures, it was confirmed today.

A news conference is planned at 10:30 a.m. next Tuesday, May 12, to outline plans for resumption of those services.

Elective surgeries were put on hold after Governor Cuomo’s emergency declaration Friday, March 13, as Bassett and Fox reorganized to focus on the anticipated challenges from COVID-19.

With Elective Surgery, Bassett Normalizing

With Elective Surgery,

Bassett Normalizing


COOPERSTOWN – As COVID-19 cases slow and the virus appears more contained, Bassett Hospital is beginning to start the process of returning to a new version of normalcy.

“We realized that things that could be put off for a few weeks can no longer be deferred,” said Dr. William LeCates, hospital president. “What was elective for a week or two is often not
for two to three months.”

All elective surgeries had been canceled by state order to make those beds available for COVID-19 patients and out of fear other patients would catch the virus.

However, with Bassett’s COVID-19 numbers declining for the second week in a row, Governor Cuomo said last week that he will soon allow elective surgeries to start again in areas like Otsego County, where there are few COVID patients.

He has yet to issue the executive order that would trigger that change, but the hospital is already choosing to let certain postponed surgeries move forward, LeCates said.

Procedures to address very slow-moving cancers were delayed but may start again, as might surgeries related to chronic pain, he said.

Decisions as to whether to proceed with surgeries are being made carefully by the patient’s doctors.
“We look at each individual patient and the needs of that person,” LeCates said.

Because of the reduction in non-COVID patient visits, Bassett had reallocated some staff to coronavirus-related work. Other staff whose workloads have decreased have been asked to take some of their paid vacation for now.

As the surgeries gradually start up again, those employees will return to their regular jobs and schedules, LeCates said.

The hospital will continue to observe strict precautions as it returns to its previous rhythm, he said.

Those entering the hospital may find themselves having their temperatures taken and patients undergoing procedures may have COVID tests to ensure that other patients and hospital staff are safe.

Positive results for the virus that causes COVID-19 now hover at less than 5 percent of those tested said LeCates.

On Tuesday, April 28, Otsego County Health Department data show the county has had 61 confirmed cases of the disease, and of those 46 have recovered.

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