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AdventHealth Welcomes Patients for Elective Surgeries, Some Visitors as Part of DeSantis' Phase One Plan

Photo: Claudio Schwarz Purzlbaum
Photo: Claudio Schwarz Purzlbaum

AdventHealth began elective procedures yesterday as hospitals throughout the state opened their doors to these patients as part of Governor Ron DeSantis’ phase one reopening plan.

CEO Darryl Tol says patients can expect safety procedures in place to stop infection. 

That includes temperature checks and universal masking as they enter the hospital and then virtual check-ins and social distancing in the waiting rooms. 

Tol said patients will also be tested for COVID-19 before they set foot in the operating room.

He says this doesn't just protect doctors who have to wear different PPE, but the patients themselves.

"When someone gets a surgery and they have COVID, their outcomes are really much worse. So it's better if you can put it off until you're better that's great for the patient."

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Tol says the AdventHealth hospital system across seven counties has 64 COVID-19 patients and they continue to see that number decrease.

That's down from the 300 patients they treated at the peak of new coronavirus cases.

But he says that doesn't mean they aren't preparing for the possibility of a second surge.

"We do think there will be gentle waves if we do this right. We won't have an extreme surge happen but instead we'll manage ebbs and flows of this until we have a vaccine. And that's what we're seeing in other parts of the world that have done it well."

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He says they have more PPE this time around and a surge plan that will allow them to double the number of available ICU beds. 

If you'd like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.