Health Care Services May Reopen With Other Texas Businesses in May, Governor Says
By David Doolittle

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All licensed health care professionals will be allowed to return to work starting May 1, but hospitals must reserve 15 percent of capacity for COVID-19 patients, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said today as he announced a plan to reopen Texas in stages, starting May 1.

At a press conference at the Capitol on Monday, Governor Abbott said he will allow executive orders that limit public gatherings and restrict non-urgent elective surgeries to expire April 30.

“We want to make sure we’re able to open as quickly as possible and as safely as possible,” Governor Abbott said. “We would not be making this decision without the best medical advice.”

Texas Medical Association President David C. Fleeger, MD, said the governor made “a prudent and careful” decision.

“Our hospitals were prepared for a large surge of COVID-19 patients. Thanks to most Texans abiding by social distancing requirements, we were able to avoid that surge,” Dr. Fleeger said in a statement. “However, we must expand significantly our testing capacity, our ability to monitor new cases of COVID-19, and our ability to trace their contacts to prevent a rapid resurgence of this epidemic in Texas.”

Governor Abbott said his plan reopens businesses in phases, which will move in part based on a reduction of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and positive test results.

Last Updated On

April 27, 2020

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David Doolittle

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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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