System to Gradually “Ramp Up” to Full Capacity by Mid to Late June

CHICAGO, IL – Sinai Health System is gradually resuming semi-urgent and elective inpatient and outpatient procedures and appointments starting on May 11th, following guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The effort to resume these operations follows Governor Pritzker’s announcement that hospitals and health systems in Illinois will be allowed to resume some non-COVID and non-emergency procedures in May.


”We will be gradually “ramping up” to ensure patient and caregiver safety. We also want to properly plan and adjust for capacity and operational needs as we shift certain units back to non-COVID use at Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital and our Sinai Medical Group clinics,” said Karen Teitelbaum, President and CEO of Sinai Health System.

Starting May 11th, Sinai will begin to gradually resume semi-urgent procedural and clinic appointments.  The plan is to build back to full capacities by mid to late June, including elective procedures. The week of May 11th, Sinai will resume surgery, gastrointestinal (GI), imaging and cardiology services at Mount Sinai Hospital, as well as imaging, cardiology and GI services at Holy Cross Hospital. Appointments at the SMG specialty clinics are planned to resume starting on May 18.

Sinai’s mother-baby and birthing units, as well as pharmacy, oncology, infusion center and dialysis services will continue to operate normally as they have throughout the COVID crisis. The new COVID Rehabilitation unit at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital and Outpatient Rehabilitation Services will also continue to operate.

In March and April, hospitals and health systems across Illinois postponed non-essential procedures and services to conserve resources for the care of COVID-19 patients, in accordance with recommendations from both the Centers for Disease Control and IDPH.  Procedures that could be reasonably delayed were postponed to the extent possible unless potential harm to the patient could result from further delay. Throughout this period, Sinai continued to provide surgical services for patients who required emergency care or urgent care, utilizing established criteria.

Sinai has convened a multi-disciplinary review team to oversee the process of case setting and prioritization in resuming semi-urgent and elective procedures.  In addition, Sinai has put in place special testing procedures for patients undergoing surgery and procedures, as well as special cleaning procedures for the operating rooms and procedure areas. Heightened infection prevention practices are being implemented in the areas that support perioperative services, including sterile processing, lab services, and diagnostic imaging. 

Moving forward, ramp-up efforts will be reviewed and evaluated each week for any necessary adjustments or changes based on PPE supplies, available COVID testing and inpatient bed capacities at MSH, HCH and the SMG clinics. Strict guidelines for screening/testing, scheduling and social distancing, as well as visitor restrictions will remain in place.

“We are working to resume normal operations as quickly as it is appropriate, based on the health and safety of our patients, their families and our caregivers” said Teitelbaum. “While we are by no means on the other side of the COVID crisis yet, we can all be encouraged by the efforts in Chicago and throughout Illinois to flatten the curve and reduce infections. And the efforts of our Sinai caregivers throughout this pandemic have been courageous, and show that the commitment to our mission of care and healing has never been stronger.”