Arizona’s hospitalization data and the predictive models have consistently shown that there is enough hospital bed and ICU capacity overall with a margin of safety (except for a hot spot in the northeast part of the state).  The overall safety margin for hospital capacity and the improving PPE situation means that hospitals should now be able to safely make their own decisions about what procedures to allow. 

Last week the governor declared that elective surgeries can resume if hospitals meet certain criteria starting May 1, 2020. We support this decision. 

This change will be a very good thing for many Arizonans who have been waiting for important procedures that have been canceled and or delayed. There is a common mis-perception that elective procedures are cosmetic procedures. That’s not the case, the vast majority of elective procedures are important surgeries like hip and knee replacements, and some kinds of cancer and cardiac surgeries etc.

Medical facilities can now ask the ADHS permission to proceed with elective procedures if they meet some criteria like:

  • Having more than 14 days worth of personal protective equipment for medical staff on hand;

  • Maintaining adequate staffing and bed capacity;

  • Screening staff, patients and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms;

  • Developing discharge plans for patients being transferred to nursing facilities that include COVID-19 testing; and 

  • Implementing an “enhanced” cleaning process for waiting areas.

You can read the governor’s announcement here.