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'We must make some changes' | Grady cancels nonessential surgery indefinitely

The decision comes at a time when the Peach State is reaching record numbers of hospitalizations.

ATLANTA — Grady Heath System is canceling all nonessential surgery indefinitely.

The announcement comes Wednesday from Grady CEO John M. Haupert at a time when the state of Georgia is reaching record-breaking numbers of hospitalizations. 

In a statement, Haupert said leaders at Grady made the decision because of the strain COVID is putting on patients and staff. 

"We must make some changes to the way we operate," he said.

The health system will regularly review patient volumes to determine whether it will be able to resume those nonessential services, but for now they are canceled, Haupert said. 

Haupert said the Labor Day holiday weekend "proved to be labor intensive" for staff at Grady.

"We are working through this as best we can, all while watching closely for a potential post-holiday COVID-19 surge," he said. 

The Peach State hit a record number of patients currently in the hospital with the virus on Tuesday. Hospitals have 6,032 COVID patients right now, which is 36% of all patients statewide, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The CDC says anything above 20% is a serious strain on medical resources.

"We realize this is a decision that will inconvenience our patients but is necessary under these extraordinary circumstances to keep our patients and staff safe," Haupert said.

Haupert said, no matter what, the health system will never turn anyone away and will always care for anyone who comes through its doors.