In the latest in a series of Executive Orders aimed at mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 virus on Minnesota’s health care system, Governor Walz today issued an order directing that all non-essential and elective surgeries and procedures – medical and dental – that utilize ventilators or personal protective equipment (PPE) be postponed. The prohibition goes into effect starting no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020, and will continue until the current peacetime state of emergency is lifted or the order is otherwise terminated. According to the order, non-essential surgeries or procedures are those that can be delayed “without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient.” The order gives examples of criteria to consider in making this determination, including (a) whether the patient’s life is at risk if the surgery or procedure is not performed; (b) the threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system, including teeth and jaws; and (c) the risk of metastasis or progression of the disease stage absent the surgery or procedure.

A violation of this and the other Executive Orders issued during this peacetime emergency is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1000 or imprisonment of up to 90 days.

You can access and read the Executive Order here.