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Wednesday, 22 April 2020 22:27

CA, OR, WA Health Officials Discussing When to Allow Noncritical Surgeries

Written by Dan McCaleb, The Center Square


Gov. Gavin Newsom on April 22 said the states of California, Oregon and Washington are talking about when hospitals and other health care providers can begin scheduling noncritical surgeries again.

Newsom didn't provide a specific date when these surgeries can begin, but he said the three Pacific Northwest states have created enough capacity at the states' hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients and others.


Non-critical surgeries were banned last month so the states' hospital systems could maintain enough open beds to treat an expected rise in coronavirus patients.


"We have been working with our partners in Washington and Oregon" to get these scheduled surgeries are up and running, Newsom said. When they do so, "we will not overload the system."


Newsom said the three states will make sure hospitals still maintain enough capacity in case there is a significant rise in new coronavirus cases.


The Bay area and Los Angeles have been hot spots for the virus in the U.S. As of that morning, California had nearly 36,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,360 deaths.


The state has been under state-at-home orders since March 19 to help stop the spread of the disease.


Newsom said California is not yet ready to announce when the state's economy can start to reopen.


"When can we go back to some semblance of normalcies?" Newsom said he hears regularly. "The pressure to answer that question is very real. … I wish I could prescribe a specific date. There is no date."

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