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Lakeland Regional Health temporarily postpones elective surgeries

The health system will also continue to limit visitation amid higher COVID cases and hospitalizations.
Credit: Olena Bloshchynska - stock.adobe.com

LAKELAND, Fla — Lakeland Regional Health is temporarily postponing elective surgeries that require an inpatient stay starting Monday, Aug. 16, the health system announced Tuesday.

The change won't impact same-day surgical procedures or urgent and emergent surgeries. Lakeland Regional Health will notify patients directly to reschedule their procedure if their surgery is affected, according to a release.

In addition, the health system is limiting visitation. The current visitation allows patients to have one visitor with them with certain exceptions.

"We have continued to work with our surgeons and surgical services team throughout this most recent spike in cases to manage our patients’ surgical needs along with the increase in patient volume," said Timothy Regan, the president of Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, in a statement. 

"Postponing elective surgeries that require an overnight stay will allow us to create additional physical capacity, as well as have additional clinicians available to care for the high census of patients positive for COVID-19 at the Medical Center."

RELATED: 'It's frustrating': Polk County health leaders seeing record number of COVID hospitalizations

At this time, there are more than 350 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. 

"We have been consistently finding innovative ways to care for the increased number of patients we are seeing," said Danielle Drummond, MS, FACHE, President and CEO of Lakeland Regional Health, in a statement. "Postponing elective surgeries is an additional way for us to provide more space and resources for our patients."

All visitors are screened, have their temperatures checked and must wear a mask at all times while visiting.