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Gov. Inslee approves medical, dental offices to reopen

Gov. Inslee on Monday, May 18. (TVW)

Gov. Inslee announced on Monday a proclamation to reopen non-urgent medical and dental procedures. Watch here.

“We believe now, with appropriate safety measures, that we can start the process of getting back to no-urgent medical and dental care,” the governor said.

What’s allowed as counties reopen under Gov. Inslee’s ‘Safe Start’ phases

Inslee said that this is all assuming that health care providers, including dentists, can comply with safety protocols necessary to keep everyone healthy.

Inslee said the plan and protocol was put together with the help of nursers, surgeons, pediatricians, and dentists. He went on to explain standards of care to reopening the health care system in Washington state.

“Readiness will be determined by the availability of PPE, hospital capacity and more,” Inslee said, adding that they feel good about the available ICU beds and ventilators in the state.

“Our state is doing everything humanly possible to expand PPE options and that is why we’ve been very determined and diligent in asking the federal government to be more effective in providing this needed equipment,” Inslee said.

The governor said the completion of the Centralized Hospital Reporting System is a major factor in why the state can move forward on reopening non-urgent health care.

“WA Health allows for real-time tracking of capacity in our state’s hospitals to ensure that the state can be ready in case there is new COVID-19 activity.”

Critical factors the state is requiring practitioners to make include:
o Have appropriate PPE for workers
o If a certain area does have an outbreak, hospitals need to be prepared to surge their hospitals beds, staff, and ventilators
o Implement social distancing and strong hygiene measures within their offices and hospitals
o Screen patients and visitors for symptoms
o Use their clinical judgement for what is considered necessary, using telemedicine when appropriate
o Implement policies to protect workers and seek their feedback.

Confirmed coronavirus cases across Washington state

Inslee said it’s up to each health care provider to maintain the standards that satisfy the state’s protocol.

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