BATON ROUGE -- A revised order the Louisiana Department of Health issued Monday will reopen the doors for some medical and surgical procedures the state suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The revised guidance will take effect Monday, April 27.
"Healthcare facilities play a critical role in response to COVID-19 and helping people be their healthiest,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said during his daily briefing at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. “We are quite some time away from returning to normal, but this is a step in the right direction.”
The order was issued one week ahead of time to allow physicians to arrange schedules, clean their facilities and direct any questions to the LDH.
The revised guidance allows medical and surgical procedures under the following conditions:In order to treat an emergency medical conditions; To avoid further harms from an underlying condition or disease To treat for time-sensitive conditions.
The order will allow dental visits, procedures and surgeries to be performed under the following conditions:To treat an emergency medical condition. To avoid further harm from an underlying condition or disease. To treat for time-sensitive conditions.
Before facilities perform any procedure, each much have a plan in place to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms or test if possible; to ensure adequate physical distance between patients; must have a five-day minimum supply of PPE available; and must follow additional guidance outlined in the order.
The previous order allowed surgeries only for emergency medical conditions.
This order does not mean that all containment measures can be lifted across all facilities and specialties.
Healthcare services other than medical and surgical procedures should continue to happen via tele-health when medically appropriate.