Florida hospitals brace for Tropical Storm Elsa

Some hospitals in Florida have closed outpatient sites and rescheduled surgeries in preparation for Tropical Storm Elsa.

The system was upgraded to a hurricane July 6 but has since weakened to a tropical storm, which is expected to make landfall the morning of July 7, according to CNN

Many facilities adjusted their hours of operation July 6 in anticipation of the storm. For example, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg closed several outpatient facilities and physician offices early on July 6. Most are scheduled to reopen by end of day July 7, and staff are reaching out to patients to reschedule appointments as needed.

Some hospitals are also rescheduling elective procedures. Lower Keys Medical Center in Stock Island canceled elective surgeries July 6, but remained open for all other clinical services. 

AdventHealth's West Florida division, based in Tampa, activated emergency management teams and preparedness protocols at many locations, according to a news release shared with Becker's. Preparedness protocols include ensuring adequate water supplies and checking backup generators. The organization also closed several outpatient and urgent care locations in Tampa Bay until July 7 at noon.

Forecasters say the storm will travel across the southeastern U.S. through July 8 and weaken as it goes more inland, according to CBS News.

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