Governor revisits limits on elective surgery

Governor Jay Inslee has announced additional guidance for what patients can expect for elective surgeries during the coronavirus restrictions on healthcare.
In March, the governor issued an order aimed at ensuring adequate capacity and personal protective equipment in hospitals and other medical facilities to manage any influx of COVID-19 patients. That included limits on non-urgent surgeries. On April 30, he indicated some flexibility is now possible.
“Washingtonians have taken the threat of COVID-19 seriously. But there are some much-needed procedures that aren’t being performed that should be, and we need to make sure that everyone gets the care they need during this time,” Inslee said. “Through the great work of our hospitals and medical delivery system, we are clarifying that some procedures should go forward” while still managing the ability to meet medical demands of the pandemic.
The policy announced in March stated any decisions to perform surgeries or procedures in hospitals, dental clinics and other medical facilities should be based on whether delaying them could cause a patient’s health to deteriorate, if the procedure would be more complex in the future, and if the outcome could be worse if done later, among other considerations.
The new guidance provides clarification on what type of procedures are permitted under the order and lays out guidelines for personal protective eqyipment that healthcare workers should have and how long they should use it.