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Governor suspends elective procedures in hospitals in more than 100 counties

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.  

July 9, 2020 — Elective surgeries in hospitals in more than 100 Texas counties have been suspended by proclamation from Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The counties are located within 11 Trauma Service Areas TSAs). See a list of counties affected by the proclamation here.

The order — like previous orders issued for Bexar, Cameron, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo, Nueces, Travis, and Webb counties — was issued to ensure hospital bed availability for COVID-19 patients.

The governor directs all hospitals in these counties to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are “not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician; provided, however, that this prohibition shall not apply to any surgery or procedure that, if performed in accordance with the commonly accepted standard of clinical practice, would not deplete any hospital capacity needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.”

Please note that the order seems to only address procedures performed in hospitals licensed under Chapter 241 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. It does not appear to address any procedures performed in a physician practice or in an ambulatory surgery center that is licensed under Chapter 243. This could change, and physicians are urged to follow any guidance that comes from the Texas Medical Board. 


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