Governor Abbott issues executive order to expand hospital capacity

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Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, delivers remarks at a press conference on June 22, 2020, relating to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state. He warned Texans that further measures might be taken to restrict the reopening process if citizens do not adhere to the guidelines outlined by the state. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

Austin, TX — Governor Gregg Abbott issued an executive order to increase the state’s hospital capacity by suspending elective procedures in counties that have been hardest-hit by a new wave of Coronavirus cases.

According to a press release sent out by the Governor’s office on Thursday morning, June 25, 2020, elective procedures will be suspended at hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties.

“Under this order, 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.”

The order also stipulates that the Governor can add or subtract counties from the list “to address surges in hospitalizations that may arise in other parts of the state.”

The order comes following the highest daily spikes in Coronavirus cases for the state, with a daily record of positive new cases on Wednesday.

“As Texas faces a rise in COVID-19 cases, we are focused on both slowing the spread of this virus and maintaining sufficient hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients,” said Governor Abbott. “These four counties have experienced significant increases in people being hospitalized due to COVID-19 and today’s action is a precautionary step to help ensure that the hospitals in these counties continue to have ample supply of available beds to treat COVID-19 patients. As we work to contain this virus, I urge all Texans to do their part to help contain the spread by washing their hands regularly, wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing.”

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