St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Governor Tim Walz today signed an executive order authorizing doctors, dentists, and veterinarians to resume performing elective surgeries and other procedures next week.

The governor says the move is consistent with CDC and Medicare guidelines designed to ensure there are adequate hospital rooms, ICU beds, ventilators, and personal protective equipment to meet the demands created by the coronavirus pandemic. He noted state and health providers have been building up stockpiles of PPE and other materials for the COVID-19 response and contends today's executive order "strikes a balance" between preserving the stockpile of supplies and meeting the health care needs of Minnesotans facing health issues unrelated to the pandemic.

Governor Walz says frontline health care personnel were consulted about the move. Walz acknowledged many expressed reservations and are concerned that moving too quickly could leave them vulnerable to supply shortages if there is a surge of COVID-19 cases. He stressed that providers that resume elective procedures will need to have a plan in place to monitor PPE and other supplies and act if those supplies are put at risk.

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