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SIH pauses some elective surgeries

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Elective surgeries at two southern Illinois hospitals are being temporarily halted, as COVID cases surge in the region.

SIH announced the pause on Thursday at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and Herrin Hospital. Both facilities have been COVID treatment centers since the start of the pandemic.

The surgeries affected are those that require an overnight stay or extended recovery at both Memorial and Herrin Hospitals, and leaders say they hope it'll help free up resources - including staff - to treat patients with COVID.

As of January 5, Memorial Hospital had 24 COVID patients - ten of which were fully vaccinated, but only two of those had received boosters. There were 37 COVID patients in Herrin Hospital - eight of which were considered fully vaccinated but only one had received a booster.

SIH and other health organizations continue to urge people to get vaccinated - and to get a booster if they're eligible. Statistics show the Omicron variant can cause more breakthrough cases, but most of those cases are mild compared to those who are unvaccinated.

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