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We want to inform you that UW Medicine is postponing elective and non-urgent surgeries and procedures until May 18, 2020. While we initially hoped that a shorter time period would be possible (see previous announcement on The Huddle), this extension is necessary to maintain our resources, PPE (personal protect equipment) supplies and capacity to prepare and care for the growing number of COVID-19 cases among our patients. We will continue to monitor this situation and may adjust accordingly.

Please note that this policy applies to all UW Medicine hospitals and outpatient and ambulatory procedure centers based on the following clinical criteria:

Emergent and urgent surgeries or procedures will continue to be performed. These are surgeries that should be done immediately or before May 1. They will be authorized based on a clinical determination that the patient’s health outcomes may be negatively affected by a delay.

The decision to delay a surgery or procedure will be made by the patient’s doctors. This decision will be based on a clinical determination that the delay will not have a significant impact on the patient’s health outcomes.

We are notifying patients who were scheduled to have elective surgeries and procedures prior to May 18, 2020. They will be rescheduled for a later date and should contact their doctor with any questions or concerns.

We know that delaying a surgery or procedure can be difficult for our patients, and we appreciate your role in helping them understand the reasons for this decision as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Correction March 20, 2020 : After Governor Jay Inslee’s proclamation, UW Medicine is aligning its postponement of elective surgeries date (May 1, 2020) with that of the proclamation from Governor Inslee (May 18, 2020).