Governor Abbott suspends elective surgeries for four Texas counties

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 23:31:13-04

Elective surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary are officially suspended in four Texas counties to make room for coronavirus patients as cases continue to rise.

When the pandemic first began, many people stopped visiting hospitals due to fears of catching the COVID-19, causing a huge impact for hospitals and patients across the nation.

"Because they [patients] stayed at home a bit longer and they maybe didn't get that early treatment of infections or other diagnoses, once they finally were sick enough to see healthcare providers, they were just in a worse state," explained Karen Percell, Executive Director for Quality at AdventHealth Central Texas.

Now, just when health professionals are slowly starting to get back in the swing of things in the Lone Star State, some counties are seeing a surge in cases.

"Today [Thursday, June 25] we hit almost 6,000 COVID cases, so this is growing so rapidly. It means that we have to respond more rapidly," said Governor Greg Abbott.

Part of those efforts, Governor Abbott has announced a suspension on elective surgeries at hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Travis, and Harris counties.

"Examples of those are cataract surgery, elective hip surgeries, or knee replacements, reconstructive surgery," said Percell.

Percell is in charge of infection prevention and patient safety at AdventHealth Central Texas. She says the new order is essential for some hospitals.

"Allows patients who might have had an elective surgery that would need to be admitted overnight over several days, those beds won't be full with those patients so they can have the COVID patients be taking that priority bed," said Percell.

According to the executive order, Governor Abbott may add or subtract counties.

"We will make a case by case basis and decision based upon each region of the state based upon their capacity," said Abbott.

Governor Abbott also announced that the State of Texas will pause any further phases to open Texas.

Percell says AdventHealth Central Texas continues to follow the regulations for hospitals in our area, keeping safety a top priority.

"Cleaning and we're screening and we're doing a wonderful job at making it a safe experience for you. So don't hesitate to come when you need us," said Percell.

Although AdventHealth Central Texas was not included in that executive order, just like other hospitals in the area, they have reinstated their no-visitor policy.