COVID-19 impacts elective surgeries

Providers evaluating patients via telehealth, office visits as needed

The effects of COVID-19 on our community and health system are far reaching. In early March, with COVID-19 making inroads in Georgia, Longstreet Clinic and Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) providers followed the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendations to suspend all elective surgery procedures.

But, even now as health systems examine a return to performing elective surgeries following directives from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Longstreet Clinic surgeon Chad Copper, M.D., FACS, says that healthcare professionals are taking every precaution to ensure the utmost safety for everyone involved.

“As soon as we get the green light for safety, doctors at Longstreet Clinic and with Northeast Georgia Health System are going to do our best to catch back up. We’ve already got plans in place to ensure just that. In light of the governor’s recent comments regarding ‘essential’ surgeries, we are working on plans to do essential outpatient surgeries while protecting hospital resources,” Dr. Copper said.

Even during the pause in all elective surgeries, Longstreet Clinic surgeons have continued providing care to patients, integrating telehealth and video conferencing appointments into their practices.

“We’re protecting our patients and our healthcare providers,” Dr. Copper said. “I’m still seeing patients every day, and our general surgery department is still open at Longstreet Clinic.”

And not all surgeries have been postponed. In fact, we continue to perform surgeries for patients in urgent need, as defined by a triage system installed by the American College of Surgeons. So there’s no need to delay care if you have symptoms you need addressed.

Click here to learn more about how we’re seeing patients while planning a return to operating rooms as soon as it’s safe and appropriate to do so.

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