Another aspect to our lives that has not been available since the pandemic took hold of those lives is beginning to return today. Ascension Michigan says they are slowly resuming elective medical procedures, in their words, "using a phased and thoughtful approach." And the new rules will require some forethought and planning.

They say all this has been cleared by the Governor's office and Executive Order 2020-96.

One thing to remember is the term elective might not be truly indicative of the importance of a procedure. You can't think of elective procedures in terms of vanity. Some are quite serious, especially if it's related to pain. Many people have put off surgeries for things like bone spurs, carpal tunnel, knee, shoulder and hip problems that can make everyday activities a living hell. Also oral and dental procedures have been put on hold.

Of course, the big question is how to minimize risk to both health care providers and patients. Many hospitals across the state have been dealing with those infected with the coronavirus, and especially in bigger cities, those facilities have been overwhelmed. As they transition back to their former schedules, they still need to provide a safe and sanitized environment.

To that end, here's what Ascension says to expect.

Starting May 29, Ascension Michigan will begin scheduling additional surgeries, prioritizing urgent procedures that cannot be further delayed due to adverse healthcare risks. Seven days prior to surgery, patients will be asked to quarantine, per CDC guidelines, and follow social distancing measures. All patients with a scheduled surgery will be COVID-19 lab tested 48 hours prior, in addition to being screened the day of surgery.

Afterward, new virtual technologies will be used to do some parts of the follow-up care when it's possible, and practical.

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