NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has banned elective surgeries and is asking medical practitioners to donate medical supplies to the state due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Gov. Lee signed an executive order Monday that prohibits hospitals and outpatient centers from performing elective procedures and limits dentists to emergency procedures only.
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.Executive Order 18
Ballad Health has already postponed non-emergency procedures at its facilities.
The governor is also urging practitioners to donate medical supplies, like personal protective equipment, to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency by delivering the equipment to the nearest Tennessee National Guard armory.
These measures are to ensure that medical professionals have adequate supplies, from protective equipment to ventilators, for treating the COVID-19 coronavirus as the number of cases in the state continues to increase.
According to the executive order, both the American Dental Association and Tennessee Dental Association have recommended that dentists suspend non-essential services.
The executive order will be in effect until April 13.
Lee also announced that eight higher education institutions across the state, including four Tennessee College of Applied Technology campuses, are using 3D printers to create face shields for medical professionals.
The governor has also created a COVID-19 Unified Command linking the Tennessee Department of Emergency Management, Tennessee Department of Health, and Tennessee Department of Military. The unified command is tasked with finding solutions to issues such as coronavirus testing, medical supplies, and hospital capacity.
The state confirmed 615 cases of COVID-19 Monday afternoon, up from 505 cases reported Sunday.