ITHACA, N.Y. –– Last week Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that hospitals without significant risk of a COVID-19 surge would be able to resume elective surgeries. Today, Cayuga Health announced that they meet that requirement.

State requirements mandate fewer than 10 new hospitalizations of coronavirus patients in the county over a period of 10 days before a hospital may begin conducting elective procedures. Tompkins County has never seen 10 total hospitalizations, hitting its peak, so far, on April 17 and 18, with seven patients hospitalized. Patients also must test negative for COVID-19 before undergoing a surgical procedure.

“Per the Governor’s announcement last week, our team is preparing, and getting ready. Safety is our first priority on meeting the needs of our elective surgery patients,” Dr. Martin Stallone, president and CEO of Cayuga Health said. “We are ready and able to resume elective surgery with an adequate supply of PPE, all infection control measures will be followed, and safety monitoring is already in place to make sure our patients are safe. Our team in surgical services has been working hard over the past several weeks to prepare for the reopening of outpatient elective surgeries and we are ready to resume.”

Cayuga Medical Center will resume elective surgeries the week of May 4 and Schuyler Hospital on May 12.  

“We want to thank our providers and employees for their dedication and support during this very challenging period,” Stallone added. “Throughout this public health emergency, I am very proud of the response, dedication, and flexibility of our entire team. Together, we have been able to meet the many challenges presented by COVID-19 head on and we will continue to make sure our patients feel safe under our care.”

Testing for COVID-19 is available at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site located at The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd., between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. A website with online registration is available for patients to review the screening criteria and pre-register before their arrival, allowing greater efficiencies with patient volume and decreased wait times.

In addition, a call center has been set up for patients who may not have access to the internet, need assistance registering, or have questions. The call center number is (607) 319-5708. Individuals are strongly encouraged to pre-register prior to coming to the site.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com