Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued a proclamation suspending elective surgeries at hospitals in four more counties.
The proclamation on Tuesday amends Gov. Abbott’s previous executive order to now include Cameron, Hidalgo, Nueces and Webb counties.
Governor Abbott initially issued the executive order on Thursday to suspend elective surgeries in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties to ensure hospital bed availability as COVID-19 cases increase.
According to the order, all hospitals in these counties are directed 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.
"As these counties experience a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are committed to working alongside hospitals to help ensure that every COVID-19 patient who needs a bed will have access to one," said Governor Abbott. "We are constantly monitoring the data at the local level and will continue to take precautionary action where it is necessary. I want to remind all Texans that each of us have a responsibility to help slow the spread of this virus, and I urge everyone to wear a mask, wash their hands regularly, practice social distancing, and stay home if possible."
As COVID-19 cases increase in the state, Gov. Abbott has also issued an order scaling back some of the reopenings in the state. On Friday, Gov. Abbott ordered all bars to close, except for to-go and delivery service. On Monday, restaurants were required to reduce their capacity to 50%. Tubing and rafting businesses were also ordered to close. Outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must now be approved by local government, with certain exceptions.
Last week, Gov. Abbott announced a temporary pause on any further phases to reopen the state.