Lee Health suspends elective procedures again as COVID-19 cases continue to increase
The Lee Health hospital system, Southwest Florida's largest hospital operator, is canceling some elective medical procedures again as COVID-19 admissions continue to increase.
Affected procedures include any that require an overnight stay but can be postponed without causing harm to the patient. Procedures with same-day recoveries are not affected.
"We understand this decision may be disappointing news for our patients, but it is necessary to safely manage our hospitals at a time when COVID-19 is spreading rapidly throughout our community, placing an extraordinary demand on our ability to manage our hospitals’ bed capacity," Lee Health spokesman Jonathon Little said in a Friday afternoon news release. "We will reevaluate this change when the number of COVID patients begins to decline."
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As of Friday, the publicly operated Lee Health counted 220 patients with COVID-19, six of them children. Less than a month ago, the hospital system counted roughly 30 to 35 patients with the virus at any given time.
NCH Healthcare System, which operates the largest hospitals in Collier County, has not suspended elective procedures, said spokesman Shawn McConnell.
"We are monitoring our COVID admissions as well as our overall census, bed and staffing capacity daily, but have not determined the need to post-pone or cancel electives at this time," McConnell said in an email.
Frank Gluck is a watchdog reporter with The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. Connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @FrankGluck.