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Adapted from Strata Decision Technology; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Hospitals and outpatient offices have canceled elective procedures and surgeries en masse to prepare for the coronavirus, but some treatments have been more "elective" than others.

The big picture: Health care services have fallen across the board. The most pronounced drops have come in eye, spine and joint replacement surgeries.

By the numbers: Volumes this year for pretty much every hospital service have plummeted by at least 33% when compared with the same six-week stretch in 2019, according to a new analysis by hospital software firm Strata Decision Technology, which looked at procedure volume data at 51 hospital systems.

  • This includes major drops in lucrative, high-volume hospital specialties such as spine (45%), orthopedics (43%) and cardiology (35%).
  • Outpatient specialties that have quicker procedures, like those in ophthalmology (50%) and dermatology (44%), have fallen the most.
  • Cancer procedures have declined less than most others (18%), given the necessity of care.

Between the lines: Some specific procedures within these specialties have fallen even more than the averages show.

  • For example, within orthopedics, hospitals have almost completely stopped knee replacement surgeries in April, and they've dropped in total by more than 68% when comparing the same six-week periods in 2019 and 2020.
  • Hip replacements are down 52%.

The big picture: Hospitals and outpatient offices are starting to resume some of these operations depending on their states' coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, but the volumes likely won't return quickly as people fear the risks of catching the coronavirus in a health care setting.

Go deeper: Coronavirus is obliterating outpatient care

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Coronavirus cases fell by 15% this week

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

New coronavirus infections fell by almost 15% over the past week, continuing a steady downward trend.

Why it matters: The standard caveats still apply — progress can always fall apart, the U.S. is climbing down from a very high number of cases, and this is far from over. But this is undeniably good news. Things are getting better.