Virginia will allow non-emergency doctor visits to resume Friday after the public health order expires, the Hill reported.
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order temporarily suspending elective surgeries in late March to preserve personal protective equipment and hospital space that was anticipated to have been needed to treat coronavirus patients, according to the Hill.
Since the supply of medical equipment such as masks and ventilators has stabilized, an extension of the order — which is set to expire at midnight Thursday — is unnecessary, Northam announced.
“Our efforts to slow the spread of this virus are showing success. Our hospitals are not seeing a surge of patients,” Northam said according to the Hill.
Virginia’s move comes at the same time as many other states are beginning to phase in reopenings. Certain elective medical, dental, and veterinary procedures were allowed to reopen Monday in Colorado. (RELATED: Colorado Retail Businesses Reopen For Curbside Delivery, Elective Medical Procedures Resume)
Virginia is on track to begin a broader reopening May 8, but the next stage will be re-evaluated based on case data in the coming days and weeks.
“We’re looking at trends and I think that’s important for everyone to understand,” Northam said. “Our numbers haven’t flattened out yet.”
“Elective surgeries can include everything from knee replacements to some cancer treatments. These are procedures that can wait a while, but certainly not forever,” Northam said.
He added that dental practices will also be reopened given that dental problems can affect an individual’s overall health, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported.
Health care facilities are expected to follow strict safety guidelines from the state and federal government when they open their doors for non-emergency procedures, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.