COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the governor of Colorado issued an executive order Thursday temporarily halting elective surgeries.
Gov. Jared Polis' says the order will help ensure that the state "has enough capacity to treat patients who require hospital-level care both as a result of COVID-19 as well as accidents, illnesses, disease or other conditions."
Dr. Bill Plauth, the chief medical officer for Penrose-St. Francis, says the order will help reduce the spread of the virus and keep necessary resources available.
"We're preparing for the worst although we're expecting and hoping for the best," he said. "And so we need to conserve those resources, masks and other protective gear at this time."
Although several elective surgeries can greatly improve a patient's quality of life, Plauth said it's unpredictable when physicians will be able to keep doing so.
"So this may very well go on for a couple of months," Plauth said. "But hopefully with the travel restrictions that were put into place early, with all the social isolation, cancelling of gatherings, we'll have been much more prepared and it'll flatten the curve long before so it won't be as prolonged."
Physicians will not be able to perform elective surgeries until at least April 14, according to the executive order.