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Coronavirus: Announcement on elective surgeries coming Tuesday

Gov. Tim Walz says that the state has built up good ICU and ventilator capacity.
Hospital bed

Gov. Tim Walz will make an announcement regarding the resumption of elective medical procedures in Minnesota on Tuesday.

The governor said that more details are forthcoming on elective surgeries and other procedures, which have been suspended since late March so the state's hospital system could build the capacity to handle a surge in COVID-19 cases.

"There is going to be an expansion of elective surgeries," he said Monday, saying that this will include dental, and more details about how it will roll out will come on Tuesday.

The governor thinks that the state is now adequately prepared so that facilities can resume more non-essential procedures.

"We went into April in pretty tough shape in terms of beds and things like that," Walz said. 

"We will have ICU capacity and ventilator capacity that is raw numbers greater than Illinois, which by population is 2 1/2 times bigger than us."

Since the outbreak started, hospitals across Minnesota have furloughed thousands of workers not required for frontline treatment of emergency care and COVID-19 cases.

There have also been concerns raised that some people are missing out on important, albeit not necessarily life-saving treatment or diagnoses as a result of the temporary suspension of elective procedures.

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Furthermore, it's expected to have taken a heavy financial toll on healthcare companies and hospitals, with the Mayo Clinic projecting a $3 billion loss as a result of the pandemic.

Also on Tuesday, Minnesota Management and Budget commissioner Myron Frans will deliver a budget projection based on new data since the pandemic hit.

In February, Minnesota was projecting a $1.5 billion surplus, but now is facing a possible deficit.

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