RICHMOND, Va. -- A health system serving a swath of the central Appalachian mountains says it will halt non-emergency elective procedures due to surging cases of COVID-19 and capacity concerns at its Virginia and Tennessee hospitals.
Ballad Health officials announced the change Wednesday at a news conference.
It will take effect Monday and last for at least 30 days.
Ballad CEO Alan Levine also announced that the system has one refrigerated morgue truck at a Tennessee hospital and has ordered a second one for a different hospital.
Ballad has been pleading with community members for months to follow basic public health measure to stop the spread of the virus.
“The way we’re seeing people act in the community, the way we’re seeing people attend large gatherings, we can expect to see the numbers continuing to rise higher and higher. So I’m pleading with you, please change your behavior if you haven’t yet,” said Eric Deaton, Ballad’s chief operating officer.