St. James Hospital Pauses Non-Essential Procedures

December 1, 2021

HORNELL, NY – In response to an executive order signed by Governor Kathy Hochul which takes effect this Friday to boost inpatient capacity, St. James Hospital has temporarily paused elective surgical procedures and will review the situation on a weekly basis. St. James has recently added surge beds to meet the high demand of admissions.

“We have been running at well over 100% inpatient capacity for several weeks,” said Dr. Bilal Ahmed, St. James Hospital chief medical officer. “The vast majority of the COVID-positive inpatients are unvaccinated, and are seriously ill by the time they arrive at our emergency department and need to be admitted.”

Although St. James is taking this action to be in compliance with the Governor’s mandate, the hospital will continue to do emergency and urgent surgeries.

“The determination of the urgency of surgery is up to the discretion of the surgeon, in collaboration with the patient’s clinical team,” said Dr. Bilal. “We will evaluate frequently and adjust as our inpatient volumes and capacity fluctuate. Our goal and plan is to return to normal operations as soon as circumstances and resources allow.”

Bryan O’Donovan, St. James Hospital president and CEO, commends his team for their extraordinary efforts.

“For the last twenty months, everyone at St. James has done an exemplary job of responding to new mandates, COVID surges, and staffing challenges,” he said. “We are so grateful for their dedication to our patients and the community.”