Proclamation on Expanding Non Urgent Medical and Dental Procedures 

Proclamation on Expanding Non Urgent Medical and Dental Procedures 

This week Governor Inslee released Proclamation 20.24.1, which provides criteria expanding non- urgent medical and dental procedures. The guidance in the proclamation is the work of many stakeholders in the health care industry. While the Long Term Care associations were originally included in this work, we advocated for creating our own guidance for re-opening visitation. While much of the same criteria have been used, the LTC guidance will rely more heavily on PPE and testing abilities.

Here is the Criteria for resuming non- urgent procedures:  

  • Exercise clinical judgment to determine the need to deliver a health care service, in the context of the broader health care and dental needs of patients and communities and in the context of the pandemic, and within the parameters of operation provided by the health care, dental or dental specialty facility, practice or practitioner setting in which they are providing services.
  • Continuously monitor capacity in the system to ensure there are resources, including ventilators, beds, PPE, blood and blood products, pharmaceuticals, and trained staff available to combat any potential surges of COVID-19, participation, as required by Department of Health guidelines, with the WA HEALTH data reporting system to allow for a state-wide common operating perspective on resource availability.
  • Follow Department of Health’s current PPE conservation guidance, which will be regularly reviewed and updated by the Department of Health, as published on the Department of Health website at If the health care facility, practice or practitioner’s PPE status deteriorates, adjustments to expansion of care will be required.
  • Review infection prevention policies and procedures and update, as necessary, to reflect current best practice guidelines for universal precautions.
  • Develop a formal employee feedback process to obtain direct input regarding care delivery processes, PPE, and technology availability related to expansion of care.
  • Appropriately use telemedicine. Appropriate use of telemedicine will facilitate access to care while helping minimize the spread of the virus to other patients and/or health care workers.
  • Use on-site fever screening and self-reporting of COVID-19 symptom screening for all patients, visitors and staff prior to (the preferred approach), or immediately upon, entering a facility or practice.
  • For clinical procedures and surgeries, develop and implement setting-appropriate, preprocedure COVID-19 testing protocols that are based on availability, Department of Health guidance, if any, and/or relevant and reputable professional clinical sources and research.
  • Implement policies for non-punitive sick leave that adhere to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) return-to-work guidance.
  • Post signage that strongly encourages staff, visitors and patients to practice frequent hand hygiene with soap and water or hand sanitizer, avoid touching their face, and practice cough etiquette.
  • Maintain strict social distancing in patient scheduling, check-in processes, positioning and movement within a facility. Set up waiting rooms and patient care areas to facilitate patients, visitors and staff to maintain ≥6 feet of distance between them whenever possible, consider rooming patients directly from cars or parking lots, space out appointments, and consider scheduling or spatially separating well visits from sick visits. 5
  • Limit visitors to those essential for the patient’s well-being and care. Visitors should be screened for symptoms prior to entering a health care facility and ideally telephonically prior to arriving. Visitors who are able should wear a mask or other appropriate face covering at all times while in the health care facility as part of universal source control.
  • Ambulatory patients, who are able and when consistent with the care being received, should wear a mask or other appropriate face covering at all times while in the health care facility as part of universal source control.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly using an EPA-registered disinfectant.
  • Identify and implement strategies for addressing employees who have had unprotected exposures to COVID-19 positive patients, are symptomatic, or ill, which should include requiring COVID-19 positive employees to stay at home while infectious, and potentially restricting employees who were directly exposed to the COVID-19 positive employee. Timely notification of employees with potential COVID-19 exposure and appropriate testing of employees who are symptomatic should be a component of these strategies. Follow CDC cleaning guidelines to deep clean after reports of an employee with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 illness. This may involve the closure of the business until the location can be properly disinfected.
  • Educate patients about COVID-19 in a language they best understand. The education should include the signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with COVID-19 and how to prevent its spread.
  • Follow requirements in Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-46 – High-Risk Employees – Workers’ Rights.




Alyssa Odegaard- Vice President, Public Policy 

c: 206.948.2279

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