Reactivation of services will begin on May 4

On Monday, May 4, in support of the Ohio Governor’s orders, we will begin resuming outpatient appointments, surgeries and procedures that were paused due to COVID-19. In Florida, elective procedures will be permitted starting May 4.

By acting quickly in the early stages of the pandemic, we assured that Cleveland Clinic is a safe environment. Less than 1% of our caregivers have become ill with COVID-19, with the vast majority contracting it through community spread, not patient care.

The safety of our patients and caregivers will remain our top priority during this next phase of COVID-19 response. As such, several precautions will be in place at our facilities, including:

  • Screening of patients and permitted visitors for potential COVID-19 symptoms, including a temperature scan. Caregivers will continue to be screened as well. 
  • Requesting patients and visitors sanitize their hands and wear a mask within our facilities. They will be provided with a mask upon entry into our buildings or they can wear their own.
  • Caregivers will be expected to sanitize hands and follow masking and PPE guidelines.
  • Reminders for social and physical distancing, and less furniture in our lobbies and waiting areas. 
  • Continued extensive cleaning of all elevators, door handles and common areas.
  • Continued restriction of all visitors, with some exceptions. 

Services proceeding and COVID-19 patient testing

We will resume outpatient surgical procedures at ambulatory surgery centers in a staged approach.

For surgeries that require a hospital stay, we may now proceed if the patient experiences severe symptoms causing an inability to perform activities of daily living.

We may also continue to perform surgeries or procedures which, if not performed, are associated with a risk of rapidly worsening symptoms, would cause a threat to a patient's life or would pose a threat of the spread of cancer or the permanent dysfunction of a limb or organ.

Testing will be required for all patients for COVID-19 within three days (72 hours) prior to any surgery or procedure performed in an operating room or ambulatory surgery center.

Reactivation resources

A new ‘Reactivation’ section of the COVID-19 Toolkit provides resources for service reactivation, including an environment of care checklist for ambulatory and surgery sites. Additional checklists for operating rooms (ORs) can also be found in the toolkit. The environment of care checklist includes enterprise-approved standards for establishing consistent, safe care settings. This toolkit reactivation section will be updated regularly.

What's next?

Please look to your Institute or Department leads for specific instructions and actions needed to reactivate services in your area.

Virtual visits will continue to play an important role in how our patients access care. Patients with COVID-19 will be directed to use virtual care when possible.

We are determining an approach and timing for returning administrative caregivers who are working remotely. Plans will be communicated once they are finalized. For those caregivers in the labor pool, staffing needs and patient volumes will direct the timing of return.

Our reactivation will be measured and phased in to maintain the highest levels of patient care and safety, while protecting our caregivers. We are eager to take this important step forward, and thank you for your dedication and flexibility.