'If you need surgery, now is as safe as ever': Elective surgeries resume Monday

Governor Ron DeSantis is ready for Phase 1 of reopening Florida and says resuming elective surgeries is a vital part of that. 

Gov. DeSantis and doctors with Halifax Health announced in a Sunday afternoon press conference that they're prepared and ready to resume elective procedures on Monday.

The president of Halifax Health said they have a backlog of elective procedures, but will be easing into it.

The hospital will have 25 elective procedures on Monday and 40 elective procedures on Tuesday.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, there were about 80 elective surgeries a day. 

"This will allow the system to start running again like it should and obviously it will be good for people’s health," Gov. DeSantis said Sunday. 

Halifax Health will be taking extra precautions with their patients in order to keep everyone in the hospital safe.

Elective surgeries include things like aneurysm surgeries, a heart bypass, certain cancer procedures and symptomatic hernia and gallbladder surgeries. 
"Everyone is being screened at different checkpoints," said Dr. Robert Feezor, "several days before the surgery, then when they come in the building, we have visitation guidelines to make sure it stays as safe as it is now."

Halifax Health says COVID-19 patients are treated in an area that is specifically designed to be separate from the main hospital.

The staff in that unit do not work in the main hospital, either.

As of Sunday, Halifax Health had seven COVID-19 patients. 

"It’s certainly perfectly safe to come to the hospital and have elective procedures," said Dr. Peter Harman. "I think we’ve proved [it]. We’ve separated the COVID unit from the rest of the hospital."
Gov. DeSantis said the state is working toward a "safe, smart and step-by-step" reopening. 
"Tomorrow is just one step," Gov. DeSantis said. "It’s certainly not the Florida that we had in February, but we want to get where we’re back in the saddle doing great things."