Gov. Pete Ricketts announced April 20 the state’s first step to relax the health measures implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. Starting May 4, elective surgeries may resume as long as hospitals and healthcare facilities meet requirements for available bed capacity and have adequate supplies of personal protective equipment.
Additionally, Ricketts said the state is giving greater authority to healthcare providers to conduct tests for COVID-19. As the state expands capacity to perform tests, healthcare providers can now choose to test a broader range of patients.
With regard to elective surgeries, beginning May 4:
- Hospitals can resume elective surgeries if they maintain 30% general bed availability, 30% ICU bed availability, 30% ventilator availability, and have a two-week supply of necessary personal protective equipment in their specific facility.
- Procedural guidelines for resuming elective procedures will be at the discretion of the hospital or health clinic.
- The state has been procuring PPE to deliver resources to hospitals across the state through our local public health districts.
- A procurement team and a distribution team are tracking requests and delivering items daily.
With regard to expanded testing:
- The Department of Health and Human Services is issuing a new Health Action Network alert to healthcare providers across the state.
- This alert will expand the grounds for testing.
- It will give healthcare providers greater discretion to decide when a test should be performed.