Published on January 20, 2022

Nash UNC Health Care to Postpone Some Elective Procedures Due to COVID Surge 

Due to a sustained high COVID patient census, all non-urgent “elective” surgeries that require an overnight stay in the hospital after surgery will be postponed indefinitely, effective Monday, January 24. 

Patients will be contacted by their care team if their procedure is affected by the postponement and needs to be rescheduled. Urgent and emergent surgeries will continue to be performed, as will outpatient surgeries.

“Over the last few weeks, we have seen a rapid increase in patients needing to be hospitalized due to COVID,” said Dr. L. Lee Isley, president and CEO of Nash UNC Health Care.  “Our decision to postpone elective surgeries that require an overnight hospital stay is to ensure the safety of our patients, and also allows us to prioritize resources and staff for the most emergent medical needs of our community.”

Isley explained that Nash UNC will not postpone any surgeries or procedures that would cause harm to the patient if not performed.

“Our surgeons are reviewing their cases with care team members to evaluate which non-critical surgeries can be postponed without causing harm to patients,” Isley said. “Conditions will continue to be closely monitored and discussed with medical staff leadership, including Department of Surgery chair Dr. Bennie Jarvis and Surgical Services Governance chair Dr. Eddie Hasty, on a biweekly basis to continuously assess ability to resume inpatient elective procedures.”

Nash UNC has sustained a COVID patient census in the high 50s and low 60s for more than a week.

As COVID cases continue to rise at record levels in the community, Nash UNC leaders are urging the public to get vaccinated or receive their booster as soon as possible. Community members can visit Nash UNC’s Walk-In COVID Vaccine Clinic at Nash Day Hospital for their vaccine or booster shot. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 am until 4 pm, and on Thursdays until 6 pm. Vaccines are free and do not require insurance or a photo ID.

No appointment is necessary, but if you have questions or would like to make an appointment for a specific time, schedule a homebound visit, or coordinate a community vaccine event, call Nash UNC's Community Vaccination Line at (252) 962-8624.

For more information about the vaccine clinic, or to access frequently asked questions, please visit

Additionally, Nash UNC recently adopted the UNC Health policy that no longer allows the Emergency Department to conduct COVID testing on asymptomatic patients, unless the patient will be admitted to the hospital. This is to ensure the Emergency Department can focus on providing true emergency medical care to those who need it most. Nash UNC urges the community to find free and low-cost COVID testing options through the local health departments and/or the Testing Locator on