Friday, April 17, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released his plan to gradually reopen Texas, including an Executive Order that loosens restrictions on elective surgeries and procedures put in place in March.
The order states, from April 21 through May 8, all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities shall postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary to diagnose or correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without timely performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient's physician with the exception of:
- Any procedure that, if performed in accordance with the commonly accepted standard of clinical practice, would not deplete the hospital capacity or the personal protective equipment needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster; or
- Any surgery or procedure performed in a licensed health care facility that has certified in writing to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission both:
- that it will reserve at least 25% of its hospital capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients, accounting for the range of clinical severity of COVID-19 patients; and
- that it will not request any personal protective equipment from any public source, whether federal, state, or local, for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster.
This follows Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s amendment to his earlier Executive Order, allowing medical providers to determine which elective surgeries can resume April 24. Stitt also signed an Executive Memorandum on Thursday, outlining an Elective Surgery Acuity Scale for medical providers to follow regarding when elective surgeries can be performed during the COVID-19 state of emergency.
- Beginning April 24, any procedure for conditions that are not life-threatening and which, if not provided, would have the potential for increasing morbidity or mortality can be performed.
- All minor medical procedures and non-emergency dental procedures such as outpatient surgeries or procedures for not life-threatening illnesses may resume May 1.
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