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UH closes Lake County emergency room 'indefinitely' as COVID-19 surge continues to stress hospitals

The emergency room at UH Madison Health Center has been closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 surge, hospital officials say. The ER, lab and x-ray services closed at 3 p.m. on New Year's Eve. [Shutterstock / klenger]
An arrow on a sign points the way to the emergency room.

University Hospitals has closed its freestanding Madison Health Center emergency room.

The closure of the Lake County facility is temporary and is due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and illness in patients and hospital staff, according to a news release.

Staff from the Lake County ER have been reallocated to other UH hospitals as the COVID-19 surge batters hospital systems across Northeast Ohio, officials said.

“Now is a critical time for health systems throughout Northeast Ohio, including UH Lake Health hospitals, as we experience record-high numbers of COVID-19 patients and a workforce shortage made worse by the significant number of caregivers who have tested positive for the virus and are unable to work,” a hospital spokesman wrote. “It is imperative that we leverage our full resources to the best of our ability to maintain the care our patients desperately need.”

The ER, lab and x-ray services closed at 3 p.m. on New Year's Eve, according to the hospital. The system called the closure "indefinite" but said they will “reassess” the closure on Jan. 17.

Other services at the location on North Ridge Road in Lake County, including physical therapy and primary and specialty physician care will remain open, according to the media release.

“This move is for an indefinite period of time as we address immediate needs. We appreciate the flexibility and dedication of our caregivers, who have served our hospitals and community heroically throughout the pandemic,” said UH Lake Health President Cynthia Moore-Hardy in the release.

ERs at UH TriPoint Medical Center, UH Lake West Medical Center will remain open as will the hospital at UH Geneva Medical Center and the urgent care centers in Mentor and Willowick.

On Dec. 6, the hospital system began rescheduling non-urgent adult surgeries that require overnight stays in order to redeploy staff to other locations.

Members of the Ohio National Guard have also been deployed to help staff UH and other Northeast Ohio hospitals due to the surge.

Lake Health's 11 medical centers became part of the UH system in December of 2020.


Stephanie is the deputy editor of news at Ideastream Public Media.