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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

HCA Hospitals Reduce Surgeries Amid Coronavirus Surge

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One of the largest, private health systems in Florida is again restricting elective surgeries because of rising cases of the coronavirus.

HCA West Florida Division hospitals will delay certain inpatient surgeries and procedures in Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties to free up hospital beds and medical staff for COVID-19 patients.

RELATED: BayCare Reducing Elective Surgeries In Pinellas Due To Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

This change does not affect hospital-based outpatient surgeries or procedures, nor those performed at HCA Healthcare Ambulatory Surgery Centers.

“The number of COVID cases in our hospitals are increasing daily, and we need to ensure that our caregivers and hospitals are in a position to provide safe, effective, and compassionate care to our patients," said Dr. Ravi Chari, M.D., president of HCA Healthcare West Florida Division, in a news release. "We will continue to monitor the situation closely, making adjustments as necessary.” 

The postponement of these procedures is effective Saturday, July 11.

Earlier this week, the hospital chain delayed the same inpatient surgeries and procedures for hospitals in Pinellas County. BayCare Health System last week cut back on the number of non-emergency surgeries for the same reason.

The Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported 120 coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to 4,009. It was the deadliest single day for coronavirus reported by the health department. 

On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a 60-day extension of the state of emergency, which was initially issued March 9 and extended in May.