There's better news brewing at Mohawk Valley Health Systems these days, according to MVHS Chief Physician Executive.

Hall told WIBX's Keeler Show that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decline and that has opened the door to once again allow elective surgeries at the Utica hospitals. Back in November, elective surgeries were paused for a second time during the pandemic as hospitalizations and new COVID cases rose well above peak levels during the height of the virus in the spring.

At one point in December, COVID hospitalizations reached a record high of 234 coronavirus patients. Meanwhile, new cases in November, December and January some averaged in the hundreds, including peaks near 350 new daily cases.

Hall says the number of hospitalizations due to COVID have now come down to an average that remains under 50, allowing staff to be reassigned to areas that make it possible to once again perform those surgeries deemed "non essential."

Over the last several months, Hall has explained that COVID has put a financial stress on the hospital network because for long periods of time, they have had to suspend elective surgeries, which are very profitable for health care facilities. Elective surgeries were suspended for several weeks during the early days of the pandemic, and were finally restarted later in July.

Hall said there's a slight back log and it will take some time to get through the surgeries that were postponed. Elective surgeries were officially restarted on Monday.

There's also good news in regards to the vaccine, according to Hall. "First Shot" vaccines were postponed last week because of delivery failures blamed on winter weather around the northeast. This week, the hospital received last week's shipment and the shipment that was scheduled for this week, as well. He said they'll begin to make up those appointments that were postponed and new appointments could be opening up this week.

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