Healthcare Facilities / Providers

Elective procedures may resume with greater flexibility under Phase III. Effective Date – Monday, May 25, 2020.

These requirements pertain to all elective procedures. Small rural hospitals under 60 beds and critical access hospitals, though strongly advised to follow this directive to maximize resources and minimize risk, are exempt from this directive.

This directive was developed with input from the Arkansas Chapter of the American College of Surgeons.



  • Patients with ASA rating of I, II, III, or IV may have elective procedures.
  • A negative COVID-19 NAAT/PCR test collected within 72 hours prior to the elective procedure is required prior to the elective procedure. A negative COVID-19 NAAT/PCR result within 48 hours prior to procedure is still strongly encouraged. Antigen testing where available may be utilized in place of NAAT/PCR. Antibody testing is not permitted.

  • There are no restrictions as to hospital length of stay.

  • Visitation is limited to family or household members only with no more than 2 per visit.

  • Procedures that meet the following criteria shall be exempt from the COVID-19 testing requirement:

    • Are performed outside of a hospital setting; and

    • Will have no commingling with inpatients; and

    • Do not involve penetration of a body cavity or joint space.

      • For instance, outpatient cataract surgery is exempt from testing.

  • Patients with contact to confirmed COVID-19 patients within the preceding 14 days shall not undergo elective procedures.
  • Preoperative patients must be asymptomatic for COVID-19 per ADH guidelines.
  • Each institution must have an ample supply of PPE for resuming elective procedures while maintaining a reserve should there be a resurgence of the virus. The acquisition of PPE is a matter for each institution to address and is not the responsibility of ADH.