Manatee Memorials Defers Elective Surgeries

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY JUL 20, 2020

Manatee Memorial Hospital will defer all elective surgeries starting today, a measure taken as a novel coronavirus challenges the region’s medical infrastructure.

“Due to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the area, we have made the decision to postpone elective procedures to a future date,” said Kevin DiLallo, Manatee Memorial Healthcare System CEO. “We will continue to monitor this on a week-by-week basis.”

As of Sunday morning, Manatee County had seen 6,569 people test positive for COVID-19, a number that dates back to the first known Florida case on March 1.  Of those cases, 1,457 positive test results came back in the past week. A total of 143 residents of Manatee County has died with COVID-19.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital has not completely stopped elective procedures, but has taken steps to reduce the number performed in order to free up intensive care unit beds for patients hospitalized with the virus.

Dr. James Fiorica, SMH chief medical officer, said the hospital system has seen an upswing in COVID-19 hospitalizations. “Each day we’re seeing 10 to 15 more patients a day,” he said. “What used to be one or two patients a day, we’re now seeing 10 new COVID patients.” That’s concerning especially as with MMH hospitals full, the demand at SMH will increase to serve additional patients in both counties.

Sarasota County as of Sunday morning had 4,245 total cases of COVID-19 reported since the start of the pandemic, including 1,139 whose test results came back in the prior week. A total of 106 county residents died.

Put another way, about 1.63% of Manatee County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. About 0.98% of Sarasota County residents have as well.

Health leaders are doing more to increase testing and treatment capacity. The Department of Health in Sarasota scheduled additional drive-through testing sites to operate at the Venice Community Center on Wednesday and Thursday, with appointments required.  There’s still walk-up sites at the Robert L. Taylor Complex in Sarasota, as well as a drive-through site at The Mall at University Town Center.

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