Order on Cessation of Elective Procedures

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Governor institutes temporary ban on all elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures, affecting Medical, Dental and Veterinary licensees

Governor Jared Polis has issued Executive Order D 2020 009 late Thursday, instituting a temporary cessation of all elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures. The measure, effective March 23 - April 14, 2020, is aimed at preserving personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators in Colorado to combat the ongoing spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and prioritize essential healthcare services while Colorado is in a state of emergency.

The Order affects all hospitals, outpatient facilities, and procedure providers. Rural and critical access hospitals -- though strongly advised to follow this guidance to maximize resources -- are exempt from this mandate. Medical, Dental and Veterinary licensees under the Division of Professions and Occupations at DORA are impacted.

 Procedures in those professions may take place only under the following conditions:

  1. There is a threat to the patient’s life if the surgery or procedure is not performed.
  2. There is a threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system if the surgery or procedure is not performed.
  3. There is a risk of metastasis or progression of staging of a disease or condition if a surgery or procedure is not performed.
  4. There is a risk that the patient’s condition will rapidly deteriorate if the surgery or procedure is not performed, and there is a threat to life, or to an extremity or organ system, or of permanent dysfunction or disability.

Only individuals essential to conducting a surgery or procedure will be allowed in the surgery, procedure suite, or other outpatient care areas where personal protective equipment is required in order to preserve PPE. 

The Governor also has requested that any Colorado business or non-hospital healthcare facility -- including veterinary, dental, research, institutions of higher learning, or other facilities -- that are not required for the provision of critical healthcare services undertake an inventory of PPE, ventilators, respirators, and anesthesia machines by no later than March 26 and prepare to send it to the State. This equipment and supplies may be reallocated elsewhere to bolster efforts to fight this historic public health challenge.

Licensees should check their email and the DORA COVID-19 Updates for Licensees and Consumers site for additional information, as it becomes available.

Dental providers can access the definitions of emergency dental care from the American Dental Association. The American Medical Association and American Veterinary Medical Association have COVID-19 specific information available on their websites.

General information on symptoms, testing, prevention, quarantine measures and more related to the Coronavirus is available from the  Centers for Disease Control and CDPHE.


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