To ensure hospital bed availability in Texas counties that have seen a surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations, state Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation Tuesday suspending elective surgeries at hospitals in Cameron, Hidalgo, Nueces, and Webb counties.
The proclamation amends the Governor’s previous Executive Order to include these four counties in addition to Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties, the governor announced in a news release.
Under the Executive Order, all hospitals in these counties are to postpone 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.
Through proclamation, the Governor can add or subtract from the list of counties included in the Executive Order to address surges in hospitalizations that may arise in other parts of the state.
“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,” Gov. Abbott stated. “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.”
According to the Hidalgo County website, 257 people are hospitalized in area hospitals with COVID-19 complications with 18 of those placed in intensive care units. Exactly one week ago, 163 people were in area hospitals with 16 of them in ICUs.