On Monday, Jan. 10, ChristianaCare, Bayhealth, TidalHealth Nanticoke and Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic—Saint Francis Hospital announced that they are now operating under “Crisis Standards of Care protocols in order to have the flexibility and decision-making tools we need to deliver the best possible care to our community at this time.” The hospitals issued a joint statement on the COVID-19 crisis:

“Delaware hospitals have confronted the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly two years, meeting the demand for acute care with comprehensive surge-capacity plans. We have postponed surgeries and procedures, re-purposed space within our facilities to accommodate more patients, and directed available resources, including staff, to meet the increased needs of our hospitals and emergency departments.

“Our health care workers have carried the burden of caring for our community during the pandemic, and they have done extraordinary work under increasingly difficult circumstances.

“Due to the dramatic increase of COVID-19 infection in recent weeks, we are treating more patients in our hospitals and emergency departments than at any time since the pandemic began. The current demand for care surpasses the normal resources that we have available. Each of our organizations is taking steps to ensure that we are able to prioritize care for those with the greatest needs.

“We call on the community to recognize that the health care system has been stretched beyond capacity. We are in a moment of crisis, and we urgently need everyone to take action.

“You can help end the current crisis in our hospitals. Get vaccinated and receive boosters as indicated. Prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, maintaining distance, handwashing, testing, and staying home if you feel unwell. Please avoid the emergency department for less serious health needs.

“We look forward to the time when these changes in the way we deliver care are no longer necessary. Our hospitals and practices have served our community for decades, and we will continue to do so long into the future. With your help, we can end the current surge of COVID-19.

For additional information, contact: ChristianaCare, Hiran Ratnayake, HRatnayake@ChristianaCare.org; Bayhealth, Kevin Snyder, Kevin_Snyder@bayhealth.org; TidalHealth Nanticoke, Roger Follebout, roger.follebout@tidalhealth.org; or Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic—Saint Francis Hospital, Mary Wascavage, mary.wascavage@mercyhealth.org.