As COVID-19 continues to spread in Texas and as hospitalizations continue to set new records statewide, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a proclamation Thursday suspending elective surgeries in more than 100 counties to expand hospital capacity.
The governor's proclamation Thursday targets 11 of the state's 22 Trauma Service Areas that will now be forced to suspend elective surgeries to help ensure "an ample supply of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients," Abbott said.
The proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 10.
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"By expanding this directive to include the counties within these 11 TSAs, we are freeing up more resources to address upticks in COVID-19 related cases. The State of Texas will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread of this virus and support our hospitals and health care professionals as they care for their fellow Texans. We must all come together and continue to practice social distancing, wear a face-covering in public, and stay home when possible," Abbott said in a prepared statement.
Abbott previously suspended elective surgeries at hospitals in the counties of Bexar, Cameron, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo, Nueces, Travis, and Webb.
The proclamation issued Thursday does not yet call for suspensions of elective surgeries in Tarrant, Denton or Collin counties. See the full list below.
The move comes after 27 straight days of record-setting increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide. On June 11 there were 2,008 people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19 and on Wednesday the number reported by the Department of State Health Services was 9,610. That number includes 1,809 people hospitalized in TSA E, the Trauma Service Area that includes all of North Texas.
As the number of people hospitalized has gone up, the number of available ICU beds has dropped from 1,419 to 1,017 during the same time frame.
The following counties are included in the Governor's Proclamation:
- All counties within TSA J—Andrews, Brewster, Crane, Ector, Glasscock, Howard, Jeff Davis, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward, and Winkler counties;
- All counties within TSA K—Coke, Concho, Crockett, Irion, Kimble, Mason, McCulloch, Menard, Reagan, Runnels, Schleicher, Sterling, Sutton, and Tom Green counties;
- All counties within TSA M—Bosque, Falls, Hill, Limestone, and McLennan counties;
- All counties within TSA O that are not already covered by Executive Order GA-27—Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, San Saba, and Williamson counties;
- All counties within TSA P that are not already covered by Executive Order GA-27—Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Gillespie, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, La Salle, Maverick, Medina, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde, Wilson, and Zavala counties;
- All counties within TSA Q that are not already covered by Executive Order GA-27—Austin, Colorado, Fort Bend, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton counties;
- All counties within TSA R—Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, and Orange counties;
- All counties within TSA S—Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Lavaca, and Victoria counties;
- All counties within TSA T that are not already covered by Executive Order GA-27—Jim Hogg and Zapata counties;
- All counties within TSA U that are not already covered by Executive Order GA-27—Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Refugio, and San Patricio counties; and
- All counties within TSA V that are not already covered by Executive Order GA-27—Starr and Willacy counties.