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Earlier this month, AdventHealth — which has hospitals in DeLand and Orange City, as well as walk-in clinics in both cities and a free-standing emergency department in Deltona — confirmed it is testing patients who meet evaluation criteria for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Florida.

The acquisition of three specialized testing devices allows AdventHealth to alleviate the testing burden from public agencies, while also providing patients and physicians expanded access to the test.

Because of limited supplies and resources, the test will only be given with a physician’s order for patients who meet criteria as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a news release says.

There are no community drive-up/drive-thru testing sites currently at any AdventHealth facility, officials said in the release.

AdventHealth has decided to continue performing all emergent and urgent procedures.

However, AdventHealth officials had asked physicians to review their scheduled elective cases and some non-time-sensitive cases based on the patient’s needs and the physician’s clinical judgment, officials said.

Since then, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order banning all nonessential elective medical procedures.

AdventHealth also is preparing to treat potential COVID-19 patients in a number of scenarios, a spokeswoman said.

AdventHealth has installed temporary tents on each of its hospital campuses in Central Florida. These semipermanent structures will allow the health care chain to expand its workspace, and could be used if there is a need in the future.

The tents are not currently in use but will remain in place as part of AdventHealth’s readiness efforts. While officials hope that they will not need to use the tents, it is prudent to prepare now because it takes quite a bit of time and resources to install the tent space, according to the spokeswoman.

Also, as of March 23, no visitors for socialization purposes are allowed inside AdventHealth hospitals in Central Florida, including AdventHealth DeLand and AdventHealth Fish Memorial in Orange City. Visitation will be continued for special circumstances, such as if the visitor is the power-of-attorney or medical decision-maker. Visitation will also be permitted in end-of-life situations.

Other guidelines include allowing patients under age 18 and obstetric patients to have one adult visitor.

In all circumstances, visitors who are sick will not be permitted to enter any AdventHealth hospital unless they are seeking medical care for themselves.

AdventHealth officials say they will constantly evaluate the need for this policy and will modify it when they believe it is safe for visitors to return.

“Every decision we make is to protect patients, physicians and team members, and ultimately, our greater community,” Dr. Neil Finkler, chief medical officer for acute care services at AdventHealth, said in the original release. “As the region’s leading health care provider, we have a sobering responsibility to halt the spread of COVID-19.”

For more information, go to adventhealth.com.


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