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'It's safe': Louisville hospitals resume non-emergency surgeries Wednesday

Under Governor Andy Beshear’s guidelines, facilities will be able to resume non-emergency surgeries and medical procedures.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky’s healthcare industry will take another step forward in reopening on Wednesday. Under Governor Andy Beshear’s guidelines, facilities will be able to resume non-emergency surgeries and medical procedures.

UofL Health experts said on Tuesday, “it’s safe.”

“Please don't put off important health care for yourself or your family because you're scared of COVID-19,” said Dr. Jason Smith with UofL Health.

Dr. Smith said the pandemic has put a four week backlog on procedures, but starting Wednesday, they’ll be able to perform at 50% capacity.

Every patient admitted for a surgery will be tested for coronavirus, but some will be exempt.

“If you're coming in for something simple like an X-Ray, you won't be required to have COVID 19 testing. We'll test you for symptoms,” Dr. Smith explained.

The hospital is under constant sanitization efforts, according to Smith. “Every surface is disinfected and decontaminated, we're using ultraviolet lights and other chemicals to help sterilize the rooms.”

 Norton Audubon Hospital is using new technology to keep their hospital clean.

“We require anyone coming into the building to take a short moment to sanitize their shoes before entering the hospital,” said Justin Thornsberry with Norton Healthcare.

He also said Norton Healthcare hospitals are using U-V robots that can clean rooms, and disinfectant fogging machines.

“These machines are used in our waiting areas, in addition to our high-touched surfaces, door knobs, etc.,” Thornsberry explained.

Dr. Joshua Honaker, the Chief Medical Admin. Officer at Norton Healthcare said more surgeries does not mean more visitors, yet.

“Only if a caregiver or guardian was needed to assist a patient would a visitor be allowed,” he explained, noting certain exceptions, like with minors.

As hospitals adjust to a different way of operating, they hope patients will feel comfortable walking through the door.

“Having these extra measures in place creates a safer environment for them,” said Thornsberry.

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