Cherokee Nation Suspends Elective Surgeries Due To COVID-19 Surge

Tuesday, August 3rd 2021, 4:15 pm
By: News On 6, Kristin Wells

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -

Cherokee Nation Health Services is suspending all elective surgeries at W.W. Hastings Hospital and reactivating its COVID-19 surge plan.

The tribe said the move will increase hospital capacity by about 50%.

Cherokee Nation Health Services reports 600 new COVID-19 cases in just the past week in the system, more than 90% of which are among unvaccinated individuals.

“The Delta variant accounts for over 80 percent of the tribe’s new COVID cases,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Not only is COVID-19 putting added pressures and risks on our hospital, health centers and our amazing health care team tasked with treating COVID patients, but the resurgence once again threatens the overall well-being of the Cherokee Nation and the most vulnerable among us, including our Cherokee elders.

The tribe said the rising number of cases throughout the state also made an impact on their decision to shut down elective surgeries.

“Transferring patients has become difficult due to little capacity in hospitals across the region,” said Cherokee Nation Health Services Executive Medical Director Dr. Roger Montgomery.