COVID-19 Health Care

Ohio Surgeries FAQ

Are health care facilities permitted to perform elective surgeries?

Effective at 5:00 p.m. March 18, 2020, the director of the Ohio Department of Health ordered the cancellation of all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures that use personal protective equipment.  A copy of the order is available here.

What is considered to be a non-essential surgery?

A non-essential surgery is a procedure that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient. Examples of criteria to consider are threat to life, threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system, risk of metastasis, or risk or rapidly worsening to severe symptoms (time sensitive). The ODH Order provides more information on the definition of a non-essential surgery.

Are there any other requirements of the Order?

The ODH Order states all hospitals and outpatient providers of surgeries and procedures must establish an internal governance structure to ensure the principles of the order are satisfied. The ODH Order further instructs that to preserve PPE, all non-essential individuals are to be removed from surgery/procedure rooms and other patient care areas.

How long is the suspension of elective surgeries in place?

ODH’s order on non-essential surgeries will remain in place until the governor declares the end of the State of Emergency or until the director of the Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies the current order.

Is there any other guidance that can be followed to implement the order?

The Ohio Hospital Association has established guidance found here. OHA worked closely with the governor’s office to develop the guidance. The intent of these measures is to preserve the use of personal protective equipment.