Washington requires hospitals to temporarily halt nonurgent procedures

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency order Jan. 13 to temporarily restrict hospitals from performing nonurgent healthcare services, procedures and surgeries.

Mr. Inslee issued the order as part of various actions to help support hospitals amid the latest COVID-19 surge fueled by the omicron variant.

Per the order, hospitals must pause nonurgent healthcare services, procedures and surgeries that, "if delayed, are not anticipated to cause harm to the patient within 90 days."

The order, which is effective Jan. 17, also prohibits hospitals from using personal protective equipment "other than according to a conventional capacity strategy."

The order is scheduled to remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. Feb. 17 unless rescinded sooner.

Meanwhile, Mr. Inslee, on his Medium page, urged hospitals to use a third-party contract established in August to bring needed clinical and nonclinical staff to the state.

Various hospitals have postponed nonurgent procedures amid staffing and capacity strains. On Jan. 8, New York ordered 40 hospitals to halt nonessential, nonurgent elective procedures for at least two weeks.

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