SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Health care providers are preparing for the continued fight against the spread of coronavirus in Utah.

Beginning this week, Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health will start to postpone certain non-urgent elective medical procedures to prepare for an expected surge in patients needing hospitalization for COVID-19.

Representatives with Intermountain and University of Utah said this change will free up space and beds within Utah’s medical facilities, preserve supplies, and make more medical staff available to treat patients with COVID-19.

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“This is a proactive step, so we will be there for our community,” said Dr. Mark Briesacher Senior Vice President and Chief Physician Executive with Intermountain Healthcare.

Patients affected by this change will be directly notified as soon as possible over the next few days.  Postponed procedures will be rescheduled after this expected surge subsides. 

Intermountain and University of Utah Health facilities will continue to provide care for urgent situations and emergency patients as it always does.

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Officials said while this change may create challenging situations for some people, it is a necessary and appropriate step given the anticipated growth in the number of Utah cases of COVID-19.

This change also promotes social distancing, which is critical to slow the spread of COVID-19.