Joint Statement from Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth and UH on Surge of COVID-19 Patients

Health systems urging vaccination; 90% of COVID-19 patients in ICU are non-vaccinated

Media Contact

Angie Kiska 216.312.9170

Andrea Pacetti 216.316.3040

Angela Smith 216.318.6632

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge healthcare providers globally and nationally, including Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System and University Hospitals, resulting in yet another surge in the number of COVID-19 patients. As we continue to navigate the pandemic and adjust to the changing healthcare needs of our patients, our health systems are seeing unprecedented demand for inpatient care across our facilities. This has led to our hospitals reaching nearly full capacity at many locations. Our organizations are experiencing a significant increase in unvaccinated patients being hospitalized because of COVID-19.

  • More than 90% of patients with COVID-19 in the ICU are non-vaccinated. This means that vaccination is protecting people from severe illness. The majority of vaccinated patients who are hospitalized have underlying health conditions.
  • We are urging everyone eligible to please get vaccinated.
  • University Hospitals is experiencing record high census of hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients.
  • Cleveland Clinic hospitals are experiencing a significant increase in patients hospitalized due to COVID-19.
  • The MetroHealth System is experiencing an increase in patients hospitalized due to COVID-19.

We are committed to serving the urgent needs of our patients and community. Therefore, in the interest of maintaining high levels of quality and safety, Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System and University Hospitals are voluntarily making adjustments to the scheduling of non-urgent surgeries at certain locations. Patient and caregiver safety remain our highest priority. This action frees resources for patients with immediate and life-threatening needs and manages the demands on frontline caregivers, who have served with distinction throughout the pandemic.

We remain available to provide care to patients experiencing an emergency, life-threatening illness or prescribed screening or testing as well as providing outpatient surgeries that do not require a hospital bed.

Cleveland Clinic 

Cleveland Clinic will temporarily halt the scheduling of additional non-urgent inpatient surgeries requiring a hospital bed in our Ohio locations, with the exception of Euclid and Lutheran Hospitals, beginning Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, through Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Essential and urgent surgeries, as well as heart, cancer, pediatric and transplantation surgeries, and outpatient surgeries not requiring a hospital bed will continue to be scheduled during this time period. We will continue to evaluate our scheduled surgical patients as the pandemic continues. 

     Cleveland Clinic:
       Angie Kiska,, 216.312.9170
       Andrea Pacetti,, 216.316.3040
       Angela Smith,, 216.318.6632

The MetroHealth System

In response to high demand for inpatient care – involving both COVID and non-COVID cases – we have begun postponing some elective surgeries to free up space in our hospitals. We are also exercising other options, such as encouraging more use of our Hospital in the Home program, to meet the latest patient surge.

     The MetroHealth System:
       Mike Tobin,, 216.287.2504

University Hospitals

University Hospitals is currently rescheduling certain non-urgent surgeries at UH Cleveland Medical Center that require an inpatient stay for a short duration of time. At this time, UH Cleveland Medical Center continues to perform urgent surgeries and outpatient surgeries and procedures that do not involve an overnight stay. University Hospitals continues to perform all types of surgeries and procedures at its community hospitals, although the situation is fluid and subject to change. University Hospitals’ physicians are seeing patients as they always have, and UH labs and testing centers are open.

     University Hospitals:
       George Stamatis,, 216.346.9323

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 77,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,658 salaried physicians and researchers, and 19,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,699-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, more than 275 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2022, there were 12.8 million outpatient encounters, 303,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 270,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.