Amid COVID-19 surge, Texas halts elective procedures in major counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott halted elective surgeries June 25 in four of Texas' largest counties to preserve bed capacity at hospitals as COVID-19 numbers continue to surge in the state, local NBC affiliate KXAN reports.

Hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties can only perform medically necessary procedures while the order is in effect.

Gov. Abbott first halted elective procedures March 13, but loosened the restrictions April 22. The new order is necessary because Texas has become a hotbed of COVID-19 activity.

For example, Houston-based Texas Medical Center's intensive care unit was operating at 97 percent capacity the morning of June 25, and was expected to hit capacity by the evening. The hospital is expected to operate in a "sustainable surge" model and convert beds into ICU beds. The hospital can only operate in this manner within a two week window, and then it would have no more room for any patients.

It's unclear if surgery centers in the state will have to halt procedures.

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