Abbott announces COVID-19 mitigation measures, asks hospitals to postpone elective procedures


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced new COVID-19 mitigation measures on Monday, including asking hospitals to delay elective medical procedures and bringing in medical personnel from out-of-state.

In a press release, Abbott's office said the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will be bringing in out-of-state personnel to assist in operations as coronavirus cases surge across the nation, driven by the highly contagious delta variant.

Abbott also sent a letter to the Texas Hospital Association, asking that they voluntarily delay elective medical procedures that can be put off without detriment to patients in order to conserve hospital space.

According to the statement, Abbott has also asked DSHS and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to open more COVID-19 antibody infusion centers that can treat COVID-19 patients who don't need hospitalization.

"The Governor is also directing TDEM and DSHS to increase vaccination availability across the state and encourages all Texans to get the COVID-19 vaccine," the statement read.

"The State of Texas is taking action to combat the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and ensure that our hospitals and communities have the resources and support they need to mitigate the virus," Abbott said. "Texans can help bolster our efforts by getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, and it is our best defense against this virus."

Texans may call 844-90-TEXAS or go to covidvaccine.texas.gov to arrange a vaccination or find a provider.

Abbott notably did not mention any action regarding masks. In May, he banned local governments and schools from issuing mask mandates.

Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) have faced increasing criticism over their mask mandate bans as delta variant cases rise among the unvaccinated.

According to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker, Texas currently has seven-day moving average of over 13,000 coronavirus cases. The daily positivity rate in Texas is currently about 18 percent.

Roughly 46 percent of the state's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Nearly 80 percent of hospital beds in the state are currently filled.

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