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UF Health Central Florida hospitals prepare to resume elective surgeries

Quality Care | Friday, May 1, 2020

Contact: Frank Faust

LEESBURG, Fla. — With the recent executive order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis allowing the resumption of elective surgical procedures at the state’s community hospitals, the administrative team at both the UF Health The Villages® Hospital and the UF Health Leesburg Hospital are preparing to reopen for this type of care on Monday (May 4).

“Our teams have been preparing for the last several weeks to begin offering a number of much needed procedures to area residents,” said Don Henderson, CEO of UF Health Central Florida. “As we reopen, protecting the safety of patients and visitors from acquiring hospital-based infections continues to be our top priority.”

Patients contemplating such procedures should be aware that the entire number of COVID-19 positive patients treated at both hospitals during the outbreak was only 51.

“We have not seen any new positive COVID-19 patient admissions in the past two weeks,” Henderson said. “Due to the successful treatment of these patients, we are down to only three acute care patients currently between the two hospitals, and these patients continue to be isolated in special remote units separated from other patients and fitted with HEPA filters.”

In line with the governor’s recommendations, UF Health Central Florida facilities will restrict visitors to only one per patient. All patients and visitors will continue to be medically screened at hospital entrances upon arrival, and all staff and visitors will be required to wear masks at all times. Henderson also noted that rapid COVID-19 testing is now available at both hospitals and will be used when patients meet criteria for COVID-19 screening.

Also, in accordance with the governor’s plan, all UF Health hospitals have developed and implemented a comprehensive strategy for ensuring available capacity to treat COVID-19 patients in the event of a surge, while sustaining and preserving medical supplies without the need for assistance from external agencies or providers.

“As an extension of our commitment to delivering safe care to all our patients, all hospital staff will continue to adhere to best practice public health guidelines as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health, including mandatory masking, enhanced hand hygiene and social distancing to limit face-to-face contact,” said Henderson. “I am very proud of the heroic way in which our physicians, nurses and support staff have handled this public health crisis. We continue to pursue our goal of operating the safest hospitals in the region, and we pledge to you our continued vigilance in making this a daily focus of our leadership team and our medical professionals.”

Summary of preparedness action items:

  • UF Health Central Florida facilities will restrict visitors to only one per patient.
  • All patients and visitors will continue to be medically screened, including temperature checks, at hospital entrances upon arrival.
  • Visitors and staff will be required to wear masks at all times while in the hospital.
  • All UF Health hospitals have developed and implemented a comprehensive strategy for ensuring available capacity to treat COVID-19 patients in the event of a surge.
  • Rapid COVID-19 testing is now available at both hospitals and will be used when patients meet criteria for COVID-19 screening.
  • Positive COVID-19 hospital patients will continue to be isolated in special remote units separated from other patients and fitted with HEPA filters.
  • All hospital staff will continue to adhere to best practice public health guidelines as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health, including mandatory masking, enhanced hand hygiene and social distancing.