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NCH, Physicians Regional beginning phases to reopen for elective surgeries

Right now, hospitals are getting ready for elective surgeries.

NCH is one of the hospitals starting their phases to reopen Monday and some surgeries are already getting dates.

Physicians Regional says it’s now seeing fewer coronavirus patients and to people who delayed care or doctor’s visits because of COVID-19, the medical community wants you to know they’ll keep you safe.

Peter Kay injured his shoulder from an accidental fall at his Naples home. It has caused pain that he’s living with every day.

“It’s difficult to sleep at night because you can’t lay on it or roll over on it,” he said.

NCH postponed his procedure when the governor stopped elective surgeries.

“I can’t really push anything or lift anything heavy,” Kay says.

While hospitals battled the coronavirus, he worried.

“They told me if it wasn’t treated soon it would get to the point where they couldn’t fix it,” he said, but now that the rules have been relaxed, people like Kay and Deb Floeter can reschedule.

“I’m very aware that elective surgery is a great, big revenue for hospitals,” Floeter said.

Floeter, who is getting a knee replacement, says she doesn’t feel it’s too early since cases have declined.

“If it had not been postponed and the hospital was fighting coronavirus patients, I would have declined to have the surgery,” she said.

A fear that some doctors attribute to a different, scary trend lately.

“My one concern is an increase in very sick patients coming in,” said a Physicians Regional spokesperson. “Not COIVID patients; we’re starting to see those patients that were avoiding the ER over the last few weeks.”

Both Physicians Regional and NCH are starting elective procedures Monday and say they’re continuing to isolate COVID-19 patients, requiring masks and screening.

Additionally, Lee Health CEO Dr. Larry Antonucci said the health system’s hospitals will begin to perform elective surgeries again on a limited basis beginning Monday.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Briana Harvath
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