Governor Walz, with the guidance of The Minnesota Department of Health, modified Executive Order 20-09 this week, which postponed elective surgical procedures to make room for COVID-19 patient treatment. Many procedures classified under “elective”, such as dental work and veterinary care, could cause long lasting and substantial risk if postponed indefinitely. Therefore, many of these types of procedures will begin to resume. The postponing of these procedures until now has created the space and resources for treating COVID-19 patients. It is important to note, however, that the governor and his team of experts approach this decision with caution, discernment, and, if need be, may have to suspend them again.
Each hospital, ambulatory surgery center, and clinic must develop and implement a written plan for determining procedures that can be performed under consideration of the following:
- Community Considerations (i.e. a plan for collaboration with other centers should there be resurgence of COVID-19 cases)
- Screening Testing (i.e. facilities must screen employees for COVID-19 systems at the beginning of every shift)
- Patient Information (i.e. patients must be aware of the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 the procedure may subject them to)
- Personal Protective Equipment and Supplies (i.e. staff must follow current MDH protocol on safely and effectively using PPE and supplies)
- Infection prevention (i.e. facilities must follow evidence-based standards for infection prevention and control)
A more comprehensive list of mandatory considerations can be accessed here.