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March 20, 2020

All Non-Essential/Elective Surgeries and Medical Procedures in Minnesota Indefinitely Postponed

On March 19, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-09 ordering the indefinite postponement of all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures that utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) or ventilators. This includes all non-emergent or elective dental care.

E.O. 20-09 defines non-essential surgery or procedure as a surgery or procedure that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of patient.

The criterion to be used when determining whether a contemplated surgery or procedure qualifies as non-essential/elective include:

• Threat to patient’s life if surgery or procedure is not performed;
• Threat of permanent dysfunction or an extremity or organ system (including teeth and jaws); and 
• Risk of metastasis or progression of staging. 

Enforcement for willful violation:

• Misdemeanor; and
• Fine not to exceed $1,000; or 
• Imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. 


• Termination of peacetime emergency (Executive Order 20-01); or 
• Rescission of the order itself. 

Key Issues to Consider 

Even in the face of a global pandemic, patients throughout Minnesota continue to have non-COVID-19 related health care needs. Similarly, a variety of health and dental providers throughout the state have the ability, and financial need, to continue to operate to the fullest extent possible. However, shortages of PPE and ventilators continue to exacerbate the ability of hospitals and other providers to serve those COVID-19 patients with the highest needs. 

Following the issuing of E.O. 20-09, Minnesota’s health care providers will need to be deliberate in assessing which patients should receive care in the short term and which procedures should be delayed. Providers should make care decisions on a patient-by-patient basis document in the patient’s medical record, in detail, the factors considered when making each determination. 

We Can Help

Every individual and company is managing issues arising from COVID-19. The Larkin Hoffman Government Relations team is engaged daily with key state government decision makers to gain assistance and remove barriers critical to our clients ongoing operations, and perhaps even their survival. We are available to assist you on issues ranging from influencing the governor’s Executive Orders to requesting waivers from state government requirements to revising legislative proposals that will become law.

Find a full copy of Executive Order 20-09 here

Please reach out to any of the Larkin Hoffman Government Relations team members with any questions. 


Our Team

Peter Coyle



Peder Larson



Margaret Vesel



Robert Long



Matthew Bergeron



Gerald Seck



Logan O'Grady


Grady Harn


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Larkin Hoffman provides counsel to a wide variety of ‎organizations, from ‎small businesses and nonprofits to  Fortune 500 companies, in ‎many areas of practice including ‎corporate and governance matters, litigation, real ‎estate, government relations, labor and employment, intellectual property, ‎information technology, ‎franchising and taxation. The firm also serves the needs of individuals in many ‎areas ‎including trusts and estates, personal injury and family law.


This newsletter is provided as a service to our clients and firm associates. While the information provided in this newsletter is believed to be accurate, it is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.