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Elective surgeries resume in Colorado but medical facilities need to implement changes

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Elective surgeries have resumed in Colorado, but facilities who perform them have to make changes before scheduling their first patient.

A public health order from Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Health says hospitals, along with medical, dental and veterinary facilities need to have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for their procedures if another wave of COVID-19 comes through Colorado.

"Prior to resuming voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures, the hospital facility must have access to adequate PPE supplies, ventilators, trained staff, medications, anesthetics, and all medical-surgical supplies, allowing for PPE crisis standards of care to be used without compromising patient safety or staff safety," according to the public health order.

KRDO will be speaking with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bill Plauth from Penrose-St. Francis Hospital to ask what changes patients should expect to see.

The hospital says they are testing every patient for COVID-19 scheduled for surgery before the procedure. So far, no tests have come back positive.

What are some of the surgeries that were put on hold under the previous health order?

"It's very dependent on different patients but you think of particular surgeries like hip or knee surgery, sometimes back surgeries. In our prior consideration, we were looking at ones that needed to be done in the last month."

What are changes patients can expect before scheduling their and entering the hospital?

"Anyone coming into the hospital, anyone who works here is being screened for symptoms, for possible fever, symptoms consistent with coronavirus. We're taking people's temperatures as well. We're also requiring everyone to wear a mask or facial covering."

"We have not started doing the elective or voluntary surgeries and in fact for Penrose-St.Francis we do not do many of them just as acute care hospitals but we have resumed our time-sensitive surgeries that need to be done in the next three months."

Per the Governor's PHO, is the hospital prepared with enough PPE to get through the time-sensitive surgeries and a potential influx of COVID-19 patients?

"Even though as a system, we need to review that every two weeks, we're actually reviewing it throughout the day. We have local committees that are also reviewing our surgeries making sure we're keeping this as a slow introduction with appropriate volumes. That committee meets twice a week."

Watch the full story tonight on KRDO Newschannel 13 at 5 p.m.

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Krystal Story

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