New executive order loosens restrictions on some surgeries

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some non-essential surgeries will once again be allowed in Texas starting Wednesday, part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to gradually reopen the Texas economy.

Abbott initially banned all non-essential surgeries on March 13 in an effort to preserve both hospital space and the state’s dwindling supply of personal protective equipment, or PPE.

But in a new executive order announced on Friday, the governor loosened some of those restrictions with specific qualifications.

Any new non-essential surgeries must not “deplete the hospital capacity or the personal protective equipment needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.”

And any hospital that performs the surgery must certify in writing to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission that it will reserve a quarter of its hospital capacity to treat COVID-19 patients, and it will not request any PPE from any public source, including from federal, state and local sources.

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