South Bay medical centers are prepared to resume knee replacements, gall stone removals, heart catheterizations and other so-called elective surgeries after Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the ban on these types of procedures late last month, hospital officials say.

Doctors were previously barred from performing non-emergency operations amid an expected surge of COVID-19 patients. Now that the number of new coronavirus cases are trending downward, hospital officials say they’re ready to accept patients who had to put off that hip or heart valve replacement because of the pandemic.

“Everyone has been cautious and eager to get that going,” said Kenneth West, chief operating officer for Regional Medical Center. “We want to ensure that people aren’t unnecessarily at risk or delaying things that may be necessary to

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