CRMC suspends all elective surgeries as COVID hospitalizations increase

COOKEVILLE – Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is once again suspending all elective surgical and procedure cases beginning Monday, Jan. 4. The suspension will continue until the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations significantly decreases. 

Today CRMC has 84 positive COVID-19 inpatients with seven others pending, resulting in 91 patients in isolation.

“We are seeing a record high for the medical center in terms of patients being in isolation from COVID-19,” stated CRMC CEO Paul Korth. “We expect the trend to continue, and we’ll be seeing even higher numbers in the coming weeks. We are also starting to see cases of the flu in our urgent care clinic so we expect flu hospitalizations to follow. We’re suspending our elective surgeries and procedures now so that we can continue providing care for the large volume of COVID patients and others that need immediate hospitalization.”

CRMC urges the community to follow standard precautions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

“As we’ve said before, now is definitely not the time to let our guard down,” added Korth. “Even with the vaccine rolling out, we must continue to take precautions against the spread. We are at a critical stage as a medical center and as a community. With staffing challenges and a high patient census, we are adapting every day to make room for patients needing our care, but if we continue the current trend, there won’t be enough hospital capacity to treat all illnesses, including COVID. We hope we don’t get to that point. We plead with the community to be careful. The vaccine can’t be rolled out fast enough, and while we are hopeful that there is light at the end of the tunnel, we must still be vigilant for now.” 

CRMC continues to offer an outpatient treatment to treat certain COVID-19 patients to help lessen symptoms, prevent hospitalization, and decrease mortality.  Bamlanivimab (antispike neutralizing monoclonal antibody) has received emergency use authorization only from the FDA for use in certain high-risk COVID-19 positive patients who have NOT been hospitalized and meet certain criteria. The drug is administered by infusion through a vein and takes approximately one hour for infusion and one hour of observation following the infusion.

To be eligible to receive this medication, the patient:

  • Must never have been hospitalized for COVID-19
  • Received a confirmed positive COVID-19 PCR test (SARS-CoV-2)
  • Be within 10 days since the onset of symptoms

Then, if the patient has any of the high-risk conditions below, they quality for the infusion.

  • Be age 65 or older
  • Have a BMI of 35 or higher (extreme obesity)
  • Have diabetes mellitus
  • Have chronic kidney disease
  • Have an immunosuppressive disease or immunosuppressive treatment

Or, if none of the above conditions are met, a patient will qualify if they are:

  • Age 55 or older AND have one or more of the following:
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension
  • COPD or other chronic respiratory disease

To see if you meet criteria for this treatment, contact your primary care provider or visit the Cookeville Regional Urgent Care at 340 North Cedar Avenue. Cookeville Regional Urgent Care may also be reached by calling 931-783-5353. More information is also available at

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