Florida hospitals brace for tropical storm Nicole

Hospitals and health systems in Florida are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Nicole, which made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane the morning of Nov. 10. Now downgraded to a tropical storm, Nicole comes just a month after Hurricane Ian spurred evacuations and elective surgery delays across the state. 

Five updates:

1. The storm, slated to be much weaker than Hurricane Ian's Category 4 strength, is not expected to significantly disrupt care operations in the state. Several health system's have temporarily closed facilities in the storm's path but aren't planning evacuations or surgery postponements. 

2. Rockledge, Fla.-based Health First closed its medical offices at noon on Nov. 9 in anticipation of the storm. The offices will remain closed through Nov. 10, though the system's hospitals and other essential services will remain open, according to Florida Today.

3. Hollywood, Fla.-based Memorial Healthcare System closed an outpatient center in Wellington, Fla., that's part of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Nov. 9, a spokesperson told Becker's. The health system expects that facility to open by Nov. 11. Memorial Healthcare's six hospitals, 11 primary care offices and other outpatient care centers are operating as normal. 

4. Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth told Becker's Nov. 9 that its hospitals in Central Florida were equipped with generators, fuel and bottled water in preparation for the storm. The health system was not planning to close any hospitals ahead of Nicole's landfall. 

5. Gainesville-based University of Florida Health said its hospitals and outpatient practices were continuing normal operations as of Nov. 9, with the exception of several physician practices and care facilities that temporarily closed Nov. 10.

5. President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration Nov. 9 that provides federal aid to support the state's response efforts.  

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