Murphy says he won’t ban elective surgeries, but one hospital claimed he already has

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TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday declared that he does not have plans to ban elective surgies during the current COVID-19 spike, but said hospitals are choosing to ban such surgeries on their own.

“At the moment, we have no plans for that because hospitals are doing that on their own basis. There’s a level – and Judy can go through this,” Murphy said during Monday’s COVID-19 briefing. “There’s a level of urgency. I think it’s one through five. You’ve already got a bunch of hospitals that are taking level four and level five procedures off the table and that is the – it is both what’s happening and what we think is the right mix. Obviously we reserve all options if we have to, but that – it is happening as we speak.”

Hunterdon Medical Center said they are stopping elective surgeries after being told to do so by the Murphy administration.

“Due to the overwhelming number of cases of COVID-19 in our hospitals through the state, the Governor has issued a mandate to postpone elective surgeries and endoscopic procedures in Hospitals until further notice. This will go into effect at Hunterdon Medical Center as of Thursday, January 6th,” the hospital said on Tuesday.

Later in the day, the hospital modified its release to remove the comment about the decision being mandated by the governor.

“Due to the overwhelming number of cases of COVID-19 in our hospital and our community,  Hunterdon Medical Center will be postponing elective surgeries and endoscopic procedures at the hospital until further notice. This will go into effect at Hunterdon Medical Center as of Thursday, January 6th,” the revised statement read.