Gov. Walz: Announcement coming 'in a few days' on return of elective surgeries in Minnesota

A decision on the return of elective surgeries in Minnesota will be coming soon, Gov. Tim Walz announced at the state's daily COVID-19 response briefing Thursday.

Under an executive order from Walz, elective surgeries in Minnesota have been suspended since March 23. Now, state and hospital leaders are looking at revising that order.

"There should be an announcement in the coming days, but this has to be done in coordination with the hospitals and the hospitals will be the ones that sign off on this," said Walz.

The decison will depend on modeling projections and the amount of personal protective equipment available.

"Looking at what we have in reserve to make the call to say, 'This much is what we have - we’re going to keep in reserve for the surge that can come. Now that we have excess of that - we are going to start rolling people back in to have normal care'," said Walz.

The return of these surgeries will not allow only patients to get the care they need, Walz said it will also help bring revenues back to the hospitals.

"It starts to bring people that were laid off because their specialty wasn’t COVID-care or emergency care," said Walz.

Walz says the anticipated changes all depend on continued social distancing, the use of masks and face coverings in public, staying home when sick and increased testing.