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Gov. DeWine gives go-ahead for some medical procedures starting May 1

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Posted at 2:56 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 20:23:29-04

CINCINNATI — Time is critical for patients like Nakeer Stewart who are waiting for in vitro fertilization surgery.

Stewart said she and her husband desperately want a baby, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to cancel the procedure that she had spent months planning.

Now, Stewart is afraid she’s running out of time.

“If you have really bad health issues like I do, I’m on a time basis. So, a month can make me not be able to ever have kids,” Stewart said.

Some relief is coming. Gov. Mike DeWine said on Monday afternoon that all health procedures that do not require an overnight hospital stay can move forward starting May 1.

DeWine said hospitals still do not have the amount of personal protective equipment that the state wants, but that more is on the way.

DeWine’s message to doctors is to reopen with caution; patients should wear a mask before they go inside a doctor’s office, and multiple patients will likely not be in a waiting room at once.

Dr. Amy Mechley, a Cincinnati primary care physician, is not Stewart’s doctor, but she was able to speak to how doctor’s visits could change.

“We disinfect every area that the patient has been in,” Mechley said. “We have patients wearing masks when they come in. We obviously wear all our gear.”

While more patients will be seen in the office, Mechley said she thinks the majority of appointments will remain virtual for a while.

“It’s not like the virus went home,” Mechley said. “We still have to be very smart about this, keep our social distancing, be very smart about masks.”