ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Central Florida hospital system AdventHealth will begin allowing more deferred surgical procedures after the health care chain moved back to “yellow status” following weeks of elevated COVID-19 patients.
Officials with the hospital system say the COVID-19 patients have decreased enough to move back to a “yellow status.” The hospitals have several levels of emergency management, with the most severe being “black status.” AdventHealth moved to level black in July when about 1,000 virus patients were hospitalized across its facilities.
On Sept. 2, AdventHealth moved to red status and on Wednesday announced to shift to yellow starting Thursday.
Under this less severe status, the hospital will still differ new elective surgeries that require inpatient admissions and reduce surgical procedures to maximize its resources.
All scheduled elective surgeries that will use an ICU bed must be approved by the chief medical officer on campus.
Outpatient surgery centers will continue as normal, according to a news release.
On Wednesday, hospital officials said there were about 1,200 COVID-19 patients across its Central Florida facilities including Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Polk, Volusia and Flagler counties. The number is a gradual decrease, according to a news release, from the peak of about 1,700 patients on Aug. 23.
“We are grateful to the community for their support and patience. We know there are people who have been waiting patiently for certain procedures, and we want to be able to care for them as soon as possible,” said Dr. Neil Finkler, chief clinical officer of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division. “Our teams have been working very hard to get us into position to be able to extend care to more of our community. The situation continues to improve in our hospitals, but we still have a ways to go before we’ll feel comfortable enough to return to normal operations.”