How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting Elective Surgeries and Procedures in Florida

With the COVID-19 pandemic still sweeping the nation, many things have had to change. Businesses, schools, churches, and retail facilities are closing their doors or dramatically modifying their services in order to adapt to social distancing best practices. This pandemic has seen a lot of creativity as businesses and companies shift services online and figure out alternative ways to get us the services we need. However, some things simply cannot be shifted online, such as medical procedures. Although necessary medical surgeries and procedures continue to be conducted as normal, anyone who has scheduled an elective process that falls during this time will need to postpone it for the time being.

What Constitutes an “Elective” Procedure?

As of March 20th, 2020, an executive order signed by Florida governor Ron DeSantis is in effect. It prohibits any “medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery which, if delayed, does not place a patient’s immediate health, safety, or wellbeing at risk, or will, if delayed, not contribute to the worsening of a serious or life-threatening medical condition.” This order applies to all health care facilities in Florida, including dental facilities.

There are several compelling reasons to take these measures. Reducing the number of patients entering a medical facility reduces the spread of the virus. As most of us are advised to stay home unless completely necessary, enacting these measures is a prudent step in the fight against the pandemic. It also helps free up resources; as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grows, many medical facilities are spread thin as they try to treat this influx of patients on top of those with other conditions. Delaying elective procedures allows professionals to focus on emergency situations.

What Does This Mean?

The short answer is that any procedure that can wait without causing serious harm will need to wait. Time-sensitive or lifesaving procedures will continue to be performed during this time, but anything non-urgent will be rescheduled to help reduce the risk of the virus spreading. If you’re not sure whether your procedure qualifies as elective, ask your health care provider for more information.

Not all elective surgeries feel elective when you are the one waiting for yours, so you might feel some understandable frustration. Remember that any delay in your procedure due to the coronavirus is necessary and temporary. While certainly inconvenient and stressful, these measures are in place to protect the general public from further spread of the virus. This is an unprecedented time for all of us, but it’s important to remain calm and remember that this pandemic will pass, and things will return to normal. Elective surgeries and procedures will resume as they did before the outbreak. If we do our part to flatten the curve and keep the virus from spreading, the sooner this crisis will pass and we can reschedule your procedure.

If you have an upcoming surgery scheduled with North Orlando Surgical Group, call or contact us today for next steps.