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All Elective Medical, Dental Procedures Suspended by Governor

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TENNESSEE (March 23) — Governor Bill Lee has suspended many non-essential, elective medical procedures in Executive Order 18, issued March 23.

The executive order reads:

Dental service providers in the State of Tennessee, including but not limited to dentists, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, periodontists, prosthodontists, and endodontists, shall not perform any non-emergency dental or oral procedures. Non-emergency dental or oral procedures include hygiene visits, cosmetic procedures, and other elective procedures. Emergency procedures for patients with acute dental or oral needs may still be performed, including treatment for pain, swelling, trauma, or an abscess.

All hospitals and surgical outpatient facilities in the State of Tennessee shall not perform non-essential procedures, which includes any medical procedure that is not necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve the health and safety of a patient, as determined by a licensed medical provider. All hospitals and freestanding surgical outpatient facilities must postpone through the expiration of this Order, at a minimum, joint replacement, bariatric surgery, and cosmetic surgery, except for emergency or trauma-related surgery where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, or welfare of the patient. Medical procedures excluded from postponement include, but are not limited to, surgeries related to advanced cardiovascular disease (including coronary artery disease, heart failure, and arrhythmias) that would prolong life; oncological testing, treatment, and related procedures; pregnancy-related visits and procedures, including labor and delivery; organ transplantation; procedures related to dialysis; and emergency or trauma-related procedures where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patient.

Non-hospital healthcare providers impacted by this Order are requested and encouraged to provide necessary personal protective equipment in their possession and not required for the emergency care exempted in the Order, including, but not limited to, medical gowns, N95 masks, surgical masks, TYVEK suits, boot covers, gloves, and/or eye protection to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency by delivering such equipment to the nearest open Tennessee National Guard Armory listed on the TEMA website (www.tn.gov/tema) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Any state or local law, order, rule, or regulation that would limit the application of this Order is hereby suspended.

This Order shall be effective and enforceable at 12:01 a.m., Central Daylight Time on March 24, 2020, and shall remain in effect until 12:01 a.m., Central Daylight Time on April 13, 2020, at which time the suspension of any state laws and rules and the other provisions of this Order shall cease and be of no further force or effect.

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