Governor Murphy has announced resumption of elective surgical and other invasive procedures can begin on May 26th. With stress on hospital capacity decreased as hospitalizations for COVID-19 fall, elective procedures can begin. Judy Perschilli, Commissioner for the Department of Health, remarked, “we are taking the steps to allow a phased in reopening of elective surgeries beginning with the urgent surgical procedures at our hospitals. Safety and protection of patients and staff will be paramount.”
Perschilli went on to say, “Facilities planning to restart elective surgical procedures, must now test patients 72 hours prior to surgery and conduct symptom screening on the day of surgery.” Patients will also need to be quarantined 3 days before their elective surgery. Patients testing positive for COVID-19 or showing symptoms should be have surgery that is not urgent.
This executive order will end Executive Order No. 109, enforced on March 27, 2020 as part of the state’s effort to preserve the health care system’s capacity to respond to COVID-19, directing the suspension of all elective surgeries and invasive procedures performed on adults scheduled. The Department of Health will be providing each facility with guidelines that must be followed.
The previous executive order required the following:
- Protecting the capacity of hospitals: physicians and dentists planning to perform surgery or invasive procedures in their offices must consider the potential burden on local hospitals of post-surgery complications before performing any operation.
- Explicit exemption for family planning and termination of pregnancies: The order provides that access to family planning services, including termination of pregnancies, shall not be restricted in any way.
Personal protective equipment inventory to be taken:
Any business, non- hospital health care facility or higher learning institution in possession of PPE, ventilators, respirators or anesthesia machines not requiredfor the provision of critical health care services shall undertake an inventory of such supplies and send such information to the State by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27.The Emergency Management Office shall establish a process for submitting that information to the affected entities.
With stress on hospital capacity decreased as hospitalizations for COVID-19