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Tennessee Executive Order No. 18 Prohibits Elective Procedures

March 25, 2020

On March 23, 2020, Gov. Lee also signed Executive Order No. 18, which limits “non-emergency healthcare procedures.”  Specifically, that Order issues the following prohibitions on elective procedures on a statewide basis:

  1. Dental service providers may only perform emergency procedures for patients with acute dental or oral needs, including treatment for pain, swelling, trauma, or an abscess. All non-emergent procedures—including hygiene visits and cosmetic procedures—are prohibited.
  2. All hospitals and outpatient surgical facilities may only perform procedures necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve the health and safety of a patient, as determined by a licensed medical provider. The following specific procedures are to be postponed, except for emergency or trauma-related surgery where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, or welfare of the patient:  joint replacement; bariatric surgery; and cosmetic surgery.
  3. The following hospital and outpatient procedures are specifically excluded from postponement: surgeries related to advanced cardiovascular disease (coronary artery disease; heart failure; and arrhythmias) that would prolong life; oncological testing, treatment, and related procedures; pregnancy-related visits and procedures (including labor and delivery); organ transplantation; procedures related to dialysis; and emergency or trauma-related procedures where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patient.

Executive Order No. 18 also requests and encourages non-hospital based providers impacted by the Order to provide personal protective equipment in their possession and not required for emergency care to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, by delivering such equipment to the nearest open Tennessee National Guard Armory location between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

The Order became effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 24, 2020, and shall remain in effect through 12:01 a.m. on April 13, 2020.  The full text of the Order may be found here.

Overviews of other Tennessee COVID-19 related governmental orders may be found here:

If you have any questions or need support in understanding and implementing the state or local guidance regarding COVID-19, please feel free to contact:

Alan Bean at (615) 905-7199 or

Click Here to view more COVID-19 Resources

This information is not intended to provide legal advice, and no legal or business decision should be based on its content. No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.  Read full disclaimer.


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