Texas Governor Greg Abbott Suspends Elective Surgeries in 11 Trauma Service Areas

July 9, 2020 | Insights



By Kate Goodrich

– July 9, 2020

Governor Greg Abbott today issued a proclamation suspending elective surgeries in hospitals in all counties located within 11 Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) in Texas. Governor Abbott had previously suspended elective surgeries at hospitals in the counties of Bexar, Cameron, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo, Nueces, Travis, and Webb.

Under his Proclamation, the Governor directs all hospitals in these counties to postpone surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician. Through proclamation, the Governor can add or subtract from the list of counties included in his original Executive Order and subsequent Proclamations to address surges in hospitalizations that may arise in other parts of the state.

Texas is divided into twenty-two regions called trauma service areas (TSAs), provided for the formation of a regional advisory council (RAC) in each region to develop and implement a regional trauma system plan, delineated the trauma facility designation process, and provided for the development of a state trauma registry. For more information about TSAs, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website.

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.

For more information, please consult Jackson Walker’s Healthcare practice group, Labor & Employment practice group, or the Coronavirus microsite.

– June 30, 2020

Today, June 30, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation amending Executive Order GA-27 related to increased hospital capacity in Texas during the disaster posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). GA-27 became effective at 11:59 p.m. CDT on June 26.

The proclamation adds the following four counties to the list of those in which most elective surgeries are banned in their hospitals: Cameron County, Hidalgo County, Nueces County, and Webb County. This is in addition to the previous suspension of elective surgeries for all hospitals licensed under Chapter 241 of the Texas Health and Safety Code in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, or Travis counties.

This proclamation will become effective at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday July 1, and will remain in effect and in full force for as long as Executive Order GA-27 is in effect and in full force, unless otherwise modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by the governor.

To keep up with the Governor’s actions in Texas during the Coronavirus, tune in to JW.com/Coronavirus.

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– June 25, 2020

Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order to ensure hospital bed availability for COVID-19 patients as Texas faces an increase in cases of the coronavirus and hospitalizations.

Effective at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 26, every hospital located in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, or Travis counties that is licensed under Chapter 241 of the Texas Health and Safety Code must postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary to diagnose or correct a serious medical condition or that may preserve a patient’s life. This elective surgery prohibition does not apply to any procedure that would not deplete any hospital capacity needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.

The governor may add to or subtract from the list of counties covered by this prohibition. This executive order will remain in effect until it is modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by the governor.

This is the second time that Governor Abbott has paused elective surgeries in Texas. The Governor implemented the first ban on March 22, 2020. He relaxed this restriction on April 22, 2020, by allowing hospitals to resume non-essential procedures under certain conditions, as long as 15% of beds were reserved for coronavirus patients.

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Please note: This article and any resources presented on the Jackson Walker Coronavirus microsite do not constitute legal or medical advice.