Northam orders elective surgeries to stop to preserve beds, medical equipment

Northam orders elective surgeries to stop to preserve beds, medical equipment
Northam: COVID-19 numbers and deaths will go up, we have not reached the peak

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Gov. Ralph Northam and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver have directed all hospitals to stop performing elective surgeries or procedures to help conserve supplies of personal protective equipment and beds.

“The public health emergency order does not apply to any procedure if the delay would cause harm to a patient. The order also does not apply to outpatient visits in hospital-based clinics, family planning services, or emergency needs,” a release said.

Earlier this week, Northam recommended that hospitals postpone elective surgeries and many already have.

“Hospitals and medical facilities in Virginia and around the country are in desperate need of additional masks, gowns, gloves, and other personal protective equipment,” said Northam. “While we work to increase our supply, it makes sense to decrease the demand on that equipment where we can. Postponing elective surgeries allows us to divert more PPE to the medical staff who are dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak so we can better protect the men and men on the front lines of this public health emergency, fighting to keep us all safe.”

Licensed inpatient and outpatient surgical hospitals, free-standing endoscopy centers, physicians’ offices, and dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices may perform any procedure or surgery if delaying or canceling it would cause the patient’s condition to worsen.

To view the full executive order, click here.

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