Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Iowa health care providers will be able to resume elective surgeries and procedures in her daily press conference April 24.
Elective surgeries and procedures will be able to resume effective April 27, Reynolds said.
“This time has required me to make some of the toughest decisions that I’ve ever made as the governor of this great state,” Reynolds said. “But they were necessary and they were all made in the best interest of our collective health. And it required every Iowan to do their part as well, whether that meant staying home as much as possible, limiting your trips to essential trips only, working from home, practicing careful hygiene and social distancing and isolating when sick.”
The governor said elective surgeries and procedures will resume through a phased in approach.
“Fortunately Iowa has not experienced the health care surge other states have,” Reynolds said. “And as you’ve seen daily through the RMCC reports, our ICU beds, [and ventilators] are well-managed and in good supply. The coordination and the collaboration between providers, systems and the state gives us the confidence that we can effectively care for COVID-19 patients while also providing procedures to improve health and quality of life for others.”
Each hospital, outpatient surgery center or clinic that determines they can safely do so may begin rescheduling patients and resuming surgeries according to their own schedules, Reynolds said. She added the proclamation she will sign today will allow farmer’s markets to begin limited operations with “appropriate public health precautions.”
“This is our first step of many to re-open Iowa and getting life and business back to normal as soon as possible,” Reynolds said. “On Monday I will be making additional announcements regarding the first phase of re-opening Iowa, so until then I want to thank every Iowan for making our come-back possible. Today we’re taking the first steps to get life and business back to normal, but as I mentioned yesterday it’s kind of a new normal that we’re heading into.”
Responding to a questions from a reporter about why farmer’s markets will be allowed to re-open while the pandemic continues to affect Iowa, Reynolds said it is taken into account.
“So again, [farmer’s markets are] outside, so we are asking them to practice social distancing and the limitations will be listed so you can find the details in the proclamation,” Reynolds said. “But we’re limiting I think the type of things they can sell, we’re really tying it to food, we want to continue to make that accessible to Iowans, especially during this difficult time, but they need to set and apply the six-feet social distancing requirements, not have people gathering around their stand when they’re selling their product [...] and there are some guidelines that are laid out in the declaration.”