BOSTON (NEWS10) — Massachusetts officials are telling hospitals to limit the number of non-essential surgeries and procedures.

Health officials have directed any hospital or hospital system at limited capacity to begin reducing non-urgent scheduled procedures to ensure there are enough hospital beds for urgent patients, particularly COVID-19 cases.

“The current strain on hospital capacity is due to longer than average hospital stays and significant workforce shortages, separate and apart from the challenges brought on by COVID,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “COVID hospitalizations in Massachusetts remain lower than almost every other state in the nation, but the challenges the healthcare system face remain, and this order will ensure hospitals can serve all residents, including those who require treatment for COVID-19.”

The emergency order goes into effect on Monday, Nov. 29.