TOLEDO, Ohio — Five Lucas County hospitals went under EMS bypass early Tuesday morning.
St. Luke's, St. Anne's, St. Vincent, Flower Hospital and UTMC all went under EMS bypass around 3:04 a.m.
Flower Hospital has since resumed service, and St. Vincent's is on pediatric EMS.
Officials say areas across the country have experienced hospitals reaching their limit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When a hospital is under EMS bypass, it is unable to accept ambulatory patients, but will still handle serious emergencies. Under EMS bypass conditions, hospitals are still open, but transfer times for patients could be substantially longer.
When one hospital goes on bypass, EMS transports patients to the next closest hospital. However, if all county hospitals go on bypass, they are all forced to resume taking EMS traffic.
All eight Lucas County hospitals were under EMS bypass earlier this month.
Health leaders say it's hard to make a decision like going on EMS bypass, but it's necessary if they don't feel it is safe to take care of that next patient for the next few minutes or an hour.