On Thursday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam extended the ban on elective surgeries through the end of April and closures of Virginia DMV centers to the public through May 10. Unless Northam orders another extension, elective surgeries would be allowed starting May 1, and DMV locations would reopen with limited operations on May 11.
The extended ban on elective surgeries doesn’t apply to those in which a delay would harm a patient, as well as outpatient visits in hospital-based clinics, family planning services, or emergency needs. Hospitals continue to treat emergencies and perform essential surgeries.
Northam and Dr. Norman Oliver, the state health commissioner, are evaluating how to lift restrictions on non-essential medical procedures in coordination with hospitals and medical facilities. The availability of personal protective equipment during the coronavirus crisis factors into the decision.
“We have increased our supply of PPE, but before we allow elective surgeries to resume, we must first be assured that the doctors, nurses, and medical staff who are fighting this virus or conducting emergency surgeries have the necessary supplies,” said Northam in a statement. “We are working with medical facilities on plans to ensure that we can resume elective surgeries safely and responsibly.”