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Elective surgeries get the go-ahead in Utah after being suspended over coronavirus

Governor Herbert amends health order
Posted at 8:38 PM, Apr 21, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health has issued a public health order to allow certain non-urgent elective medical procedures that were postponed last month to be performed.

The new order rescinds the state public health order issued March 23 that suspended these procedures. The purpose was to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and other resources for treating COVID-19 patients.

Now, the state says hospitals are reporting sufficient supplies of PPE, and that the rate of new coronavirus cases in the state has slowed, as have hospitalizations. Also, it says the percentage of intensive care unit beds in the state occupied by coronavirus patients has "stabilized" at under 20 percent.

The order, which came at the request of Gov. Gary Herbert, states that these procedures will be carried out "pursuant to guidelines established in consultation with the Utah Hospital Association, the Utah Medical Association, the Utah Dental Association, and other medical providers."

Dr. Joseph K. Miner, the executive director of the Utah Department of Health, signed the order to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

The full order can be viewed here.