DeSantis' Executive Order Concerning Non-essential Elective Medical Procedures: Recommendations for Veterinary Practices

March 23, 2020
A Message from our FVMA President

On Friday, March 20, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order Number 20-72, (Emergency Management – DOVID-19 – Non-essential Elective Medical Procedures).
The order directs, “All hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices, and other health care practitioners offices in the State of Florida are prohibited from providing any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery which, if delayed, does not place a patient’s immediate health, safety, or well-being at risk, or will, if delayed, not contribute to the worsening of a serious or life-threatening medical condition. Accordingly, all health care practitioners licensed in the State of Florida, including dentists, shall immediately cease performing these elective services.”

While Executive Order Number 20-72, does not specifically refer to veterinarians or the practice of veterinary medicine, the FVMA recommends Florida veterinarians to continue to practice using their best professional judgment, while deferring elective procedures that are not medically necessary for their patients, to keep us in line with the aims of Governor DeSantis’ order: –

a) For the purpose of reducing human-to-human contact
b) For the purpose of conserving PPE

There is currently no list of specific procedures that should be deferred, because what procedures are needed for what patient can be dependent on professional judgment and the situation.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your families, patients, clients and team members as we navigate these unprecedented times.

Best regards,

Mary Smart, DVM
FVMA President