COLUMBUS, Ohio — As the coronavirus pandemic began, Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton issued several orders to stop the spread of the disease and lessen the burden on hospitals.
One of those orders was a ban on "elective" surgeries and procedures, which was done to both free up personal protective equipment for medical workers as well as to free up hospital space. As Ohioans have done an amazing job of "flattening the curve" and preventing a massive surge in COVID-19 cases, the governor is beginning the process of lifting those restrictions "one step at a time."
According to DeWine, doctors and health care centers will be asked to reach out to patients who have delayed such procedures and make a decision as to when to proceed. These decision should be made "in light of their current health situation and quality of life."
"I've heard stories that some surgeries that we had no intention of stopping have been postponed," the governor said. "That has concerned me a great deal."
DeWine added that patients with chronic conditions should also be given priority as well, and doctors should consider moving forward with diagnostic procedures. However, while restrictions are partially being rolled back, patients must be informed of the risks of contracting coronavirus while in a hospital or doctor's office, and non-surgical options should also be discussed.
Watch DeWine's full remarks below: