INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WLFI) — Indiana’s governor is easing restrictions on hospitals from performing elective surgeries even as the state health commissioner remains concerned over whether coronavirus infections are slowing in the state.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said Monday while he was extending the statewide stay-at-home order until May 1, hospitals would be allowed starting Tuesday to resume procedures to diagnose and treat medical conditions.
State officials have not reported shortages of hospital beds and equipment even as Indiana’s coronavirus death toll has topped 550. The state health commissioner said she isn't convinced Indiana has reached the infection peak that has been projected for first weeks of May outside the Indianapolis area.
General Counsel Joe Heerens says hospitals can begin some elective procedures in the first stage. If the PPE inventory holds up, other practices will be allowed to re-start in about a week.
"Dental, ambulatory surgical centers, plastic surgeons, dermatology offices, the same category of providers and facilities is listed," said Heerens. "Between now and Sunday there will be an evaluation based on the circumstances, that provide that as of Sunday night, if everything is in order, those elective surgeries and invasive procedures could resume."
State Health Commissioner Kristina Box also loosened some procedures for long-term care facilities. The new guidelines will allow facilities to loosen requirements. This will allow family members, who are not at high-risk, to give loved ones a proper goodbye.