Orlando Health hospitals add additional safety measures for patients undergoing procedures or giving birth

Reassuring measures reinforce Orlando Health is a safe place to receive care

Orlando, FL (April 30, 2020) – As the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to decline across the Orlando Health network, and officials begin easing elective surgery restrictions, the organization is encouraging patients in need of care for non-coronavirus related conditions to seek treatment.

“There is this ongoing and building need to address non-coronavirus medical issues that have not being taken care of,” said George Ralls, MD, vice president and system chief quality officer, Orlando Health. “We are aware of more than 150 patients who have delayed a neurosurgery procedure because of the pandemic. Numerous other patients – both adults and pediatrics – have delayed procedures that range from cardiology to orthopedics. Further delay could exacerbate these already troublesome conditions resulting in the need for more advanced procedures than originally prescribed.”

Orlando Health is prioritizing surgery scheduling to make sure the more serious cases can be addressed quickly. The organization will extend operating hours as needed to address what is expected to be a surge of cases.

“We are planning to do whatever we need to meet the needs of these patients,” adds Dr. Ralls. “It could mean that our O.R.s are busy seven days a week for 12 to 14 hours a day. We are currently working through those logistics.”

Orlando Health has implemented additional safety measures designed to reinforce to patients and their families that the organization is a safe place to receive care. All patients scheduled to undergo medical procedures and women who are in labor at Orlando Health hospitals are being tested for COVID-19. Masking and social/physical distancing – as appropriate and possible – will continue for patients, visitors and all care teams. Everyone who enters an Orlando Health hospital will also be screened for symptoms of COVID-19, including have their temperature checked using non-contact thermometers. Some facilities may implement additional safety measures based on special needs of their patient population.

“These steps are part of the ‘new’ normal,” said Sunil Desai, MD, president, Orlando Health Medical Group. “We don’t know how long the virus will be with us, but these measures are designed to help ensure the safety of patients, visitors and care teams.”

Across the Orlando Health network, the number of COVID-19 cases peaked at 54 on April 8. Today, that number is at 10. 

Adds Dr. Desai, “based on our experience with the virus, and modeling that reinforces what we’re seeing, we’re confident that Orlando Health is one of the safest environments for receiving and giving care.”


About Orlando Health

Orlando Health is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $5.6 billion of assets under management. The system spans nine Florida counties with nearly 450 locations that include 13 wholly-owned or affiliated hospitals and emergency departments; rehabilitation services, cancer centers, heart institutes, imaging and laboratory services, wound care centers, more than 300 physician offices for adults and pediatrics, and 11 urgent care centers in partnership with CareSpot Urgent Care. In FY18, Orlando Health served approximately 167,000 inpatients, more than 2.7 million outpatients, and more than 20,000 international patients. The organization is home to the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics, and is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. Nearly 3,600 physicians have privileges across the system, which is also one of the area’s largest employers with nearly 20,500 employees. Additionally, Orlando Health provides more than $620 million in total value to the community in the form of charity care, community benefit programs and services, community building activities and more. Additional information can be found at

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