Citing the need to preserve hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today issued an executive order halting elective medical procedures in the state’s four most heavily populated counties .
The order, issued this morning, covers the counties of Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties. Bexar County includes the city of San Antonio. Houston is in Harris County and Travis County includes Austin.
COVID-19 cases hit a new high over the past 13 days, according to a report by an KXAS in Fort Worth. The number of coronavirus patients in Texas hospitals reached 4,389 on Wednesday, up from 1,784 on June 1, the television station reported. Abbott also halted the reopening of the Texas economy.
“As Texas faces a rise in COVID-19 cases, we are focused on both slowing the spread of this virus and maintaining sufficient hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients,” Abbott said in a news release. “These four counties have experienced significant increases in people being hospitalized due to COVID-19 and today’s action is a precautionary step to help ensure that the hospitals in these counties continue to have ample supply of available beds to treat COVID-19 patients. As we work to contain this virus, I urge all Texans to do their part to help contain the spread by washing their hands regularly, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.”
Texas had resumed elective procedures April 22 and started reopening its economy May 1.