Non-essential medical and dental procedure are temporarily suspended during the pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Friday after signing an executive order.
Hospitals, freestanding surgical outpatient facilities, dental facilities and all state-operated outpatient facilities are barred from doing non-essential procedures until the end of the coronavirus-related state of emergency.
“My number one priority remains to flatten the curve and protect the most people we can from the spread of coronavirus,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Our health care workers are on the front lines every day protecting Michiganders during these extraordinary and difficult times. By postponing all non-essential medical and dental procedures, we expect to reduce the strain on the health care system and protect people.”
Examples of non-essential surgery includes joint replacement, bariatric surgery and cosmetic surgery like teeth bleaching or cosmetic bonding. Some surgeries are exempt from the order, such as emergency surgery where “postponement would significantly impact the health, safety and welfare of the patient” or “relieve pain or infection” and “restore oral function,” according to a statement from Whitmer’s office.
The order also bars regular check-ups except when related to advanced cardiovascular disease, oncological testing or treatment, pregnancy, labor and delivery, organ transplants, and dialysis.
“By putting this order into place, we will be able to reduce the strain on our healthcare community,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun in a statement. “Healthcare professionals are working around the clock to help protect and treat Michiganders, and by temporarily postponing non-essential procedures, this will free up staff and critical resources that will be needed to address the ongoing public health emergency that we are facing.”
Michigan is currently reporting 549 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and three deaths, according to MDHHS.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]