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Over the last six weeks, we have risen to the significant challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in providing care for our patients and serving our community. We have swiftly implemented an emergency response structure and organized to address the COVID-19 surge of patients in a way that has served our community and protected our team members. Thank you for all you have done to rise to this unprecedented challenge.

With the updated Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecasts and the potential flattening of the curve due to social distancing, we are cautiously optimistic that we are at the plateau of the surge in COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization. Our emergency operations center has confirmed we have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) to serve our COVID-19 patients, while gradually increasing the number of patients who require “urgent” care in order not to adversely impact their health outcomes. An important step in this direction beginning today is the expansion of testing to all patients admitted to our hospitals as we continue to provide an environment that is safe for our patients and our staff.

Based on this information and consistent with the Governor’s order, clinical leadership has determined we should begin gradually moving forward with scheduling urgent cases that need to be completed in the next three months when delaying the surgery or procedure any further may negatively impact the patient’s health outcome. Previously, we had only been looking out four weeks. We believe this new time period is more consistent with the State’s directive on elective surgeries and procedures. We will be providing the operational teams further instructions on implementing this approach, and we will be monitoring the situation weekly.

The Governor’s current proclamation, which cancels elective surgeries and procedures, continues to be in effect until May 18, 2020. However, we are continuing to partner with the Governor, the Department of Health, local public health, and Washington State Hospital Association on the timing of opening up elective surgeries and procedures and have begun internal planning to prepare for this eventuality while continuing to closely monitor the number of patients with COVID-19 in our hospitals and transmission within our community.

Thank you again for your leadership and your extraordinary efforts. We have demonstrated to our community, the state and the nation what the combination of leading scientific study and courageous clinical leadership can accomplish.


Lisa Brandenburg
President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics

Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
President, UW Physicians