Texas Orders Hospitals to Cease Non-Essential Surgeries and Enlists the National Guard to set up Medical Tents to Prepare for Coronavirus Pandemic

Laura Lorek
9 min readMar 22, 2020

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday issued two executive orders to expand hospital capacity and provide for greater healthcare treatment for Covid-19 patients.

First, Gov. Abbott is directing all licensed healthcare professionals and all licensed healthcare facilities to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient.

Second, Gov. Abbott is suspending certain regulations to increase the capacity of hospital rooms that are available.

“What this means is that hospitals will be able to treat more than one patient in a patient room thus increasing their ability to care for the growing potential number of Covid-19 patients,” Abbott said during a televised press conference.

“Together these orders will free up countless hospital beds across the entire state of Texas to be able to treat the potential increase of Covid-19 patients,” Abbott said.

Some hospitals have indicated that through these procedures they might be able to allocate 50 percent of their beds to Covid-19 patients, Abbott said.

In addition to these executive orders, to accelerate and exhaust all potential supply sources, Gov. Abbott announced a Supply Chain Strike Force to immediately respond to Covid-19.

All states are experiencing this very same challenge, Abbott said. We don’t have enough personal protection equipment and testing equipment, he said.

“We have the money for it, but the supplies are not available for us to be able to purchase,” he said. ”We are asking the federal government to accelerate production and supply of personal protection equipment and Covid-19 testing equipment.”

In Texas, Keith Miears, senior vice president of worldwide procurement at Dell Technologies, is going to serve in a similar capacity for the state of Texas as the head of the Covid-19 global Supply Chain Strike Forces. He is also working with Dr. John Zerwas, a…



Laura Lorek

Chief Creative Officer at SiliconHillsNews.com, host of the Ideas to Invoices Podcast and veteran technology journalist: 5 newspapers, 1 magazine & 1 startup.