Governor Announces Utah Will Restrict Non-Urgent Medical Procedures
Mar 24, 2020, 1:48 PM
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Gary Herbert on Tuesday announced Utah will begin restricting non-urgent medical procedures in an effort to preserve personal protective equipment for the treatment of COVID-19.
The restrictions will begin Wednesday and will include elective medical, dental and veterinary procedures, according to a statement from the Office of the Governor.
It will remain in place until April 25.
“I genuinely appreciate the willingness of Utah’s major healthcare systems, and many individual doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and other health providers, to act proactively to help us preserve the masks, gowns, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) that will be necessary in the coming days and weeks to protect our front-line doctors, nurses and other health workers and ensure they stay healthy and able to care for patients,” Herbert said in the statement.
Examples of elective procedures include colonoscopies, endoscopies, and other procedures that can be delayed without endangering the patients, according to guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service.
The governor commended Utahns who had planned non-essential procedures for their patience during this time.
Businesses can donate unused PPE through coronavirus.utah.gov, according to the governor’s statement.
Effective tomorrow, March 25, @UtahDepOfHealth is restricting nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures to conserve protective equipment needed by doctors treating patients with COVID-19. Visit https://t.co/mWyLPYyoMP to learn more about donating PPE. pic.twitter.com/I1B8me0App
— Gov. Gary Herbert (@GovHerbert) March 24, 2020
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How Do I Prevent It?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.
How To Get Help
If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth service through your healthcare providers.
If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at email@example.com.