Elective surgeries postponed in Ohio hospitals

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(Posted March 18, 2020)

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on March 17 that the Ohio Department of Health has issued an order declaring that elective surgeries and procedures in Ohio’s hospitals be postponed in an effort to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and first responders.

The order will go into effect at the end of business on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. 

The Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) has estimated that the amount of PPE that Ohio will need during the COVID-19 pandemic is equal to the amount of PPE available nationally.

“By postponing elective hospital procedures that are safe to delay, we can protect patients and providers,” said Governor DeWine. “This will also help us preserve critically short supplies of PPE and preserve inpatient beds and other equipment for critically ill patients.”

OHA developed guidelines for healthcare providers for the management of non-essential surgeries and procedures in Ohio. Surgeries or procedures will be delayed unless there is a:

  • Threat to the patient’s life if surgery or procedure is not performed;
  • Threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system;
  • Risk of metastasis or progression of staging;
  • Risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms.

In order to preserve PPE, only individuals who are essential to conducting the surgery or procedure shall be in the surgery or procedure suite or other patient care areas where PPE is required. Each hospital and outpatient surgery or procedure provider shall establish an internal governance structure to ensure the principles outlined above are followed.

EMERGENCY CHILDCARE MEASURES:

Governor DeWine today also signed an executive order establishing a temporary pandemic child care license that allows the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to provide child care to families where parents work in the health, safety, and essential service fields during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency will issue temporary pandemic child care licenses to ensure communities have access to child care.

“It is important that professionals who are essential to protecting the public, are able to ensure their families are have safe places to go while they are at work,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Helping to address this need, allows our health and safety providers to focus on protecting and caring for all Ohioans.”

New temporary pandemic child care centers will operate under reduced regulations focused solely on the health and safety of children. Pandemic child care center licenses can be granted to already existing child care centers or new child care centers that may be created in response to community needs.

For more information visit jfs.ohio.gov.

There are currently 67 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 16 Ohio counties including: Belmont (2); Butler (6); Coshocton (2); Cuyahoga (31); Darke (1); Franklin (4); Geauga (1); Lake (1); Lorain (4); Lucas (1); Mahoning (1); Medina (3); Stark (3); Summit (4); Trumbull (2); Tuscarawas (1). Seventeen of these individuals are hospitalized.

Video of today’s full update can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s website.

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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