PHOENIX - Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced that hospitals and outpatient surgical centers can resume elective surgery on May 1, so long as they have adequate personal protective equipment.
Gov. Ducey made the announcement during a news conference. In a separate statement released to media outlets during the news conference, officials with the Governor's Office say hospitals, dental offices, and other health facilities can resume elective surgeries if they can demonstrate that they have implemented measures that can keep health care workers and patients safe, including:
- Demonstrating a supply of personal protective equipment that can last more than 14 days
- Adequate staffing and beds
- Testing patients prior to surgery and all at-risk health care workers
- Ensuring appropriate discharger plans for patients being transferred to nursing care facilities, including COVID-19 diagnostic testing
- Implementing universal symptom screening process for staff, patients and visitors
- Establishing enhanced cleaning process for waiting areas
- Prioritizing the restart of elective surgeries, based on urgency
Facilities that meet the standards will need to receive approval from the Arizona Department of Health Services before resuming those surgeries.
Elective surgeries were suspended by an executive order that was issued by Gov. Ducey in March.
Gov. Ducey speaks out on stay-at-home order as expiration looms
During the news conference, Gov. Ducey also talked about the stay-at-home order, with the governor only saying the stay-at-home order will remain in effect, with more to follow.
Since 5:00 p.m. on March 31, Arizona has been under a stay-at-home order that is officially titled as a "Stay home, Stay healthy, Stay connected" policy.
The order asks Arizonans to limited their time away from their home, and also listed a number of exempted activities. In addition, a number of business categories are considered to be essential, such as gas stations, grocery stores. Meanwhile, barbers, salons, spas, and massage parlors have been ordered to close on April 4.
The stay-at-home order is in effect until April 30.
In previous tweets Gov. Ducey made to his Twitter page, he said he wants to get the economy moving and people back to work when it is safe and healthy for people to do so.
"Slowing the spread of #COVID19 remains our number one focus," Gov. Ducey tweeted.
In recent days, there have been protests in Arizona against the stay-at-home order, with protesters gathering at the State Capitol on Sunday and Monday demanding that restrictions stemming from the pandemic be ended. There are similar protests in other states as well.
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Arizona COVID-19 Response - Public resources, FAQ, webinars
In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.