Governor Abbott Holds Press Conference on Reopening the Economy and Loosening Restrictions on Elective Surgeries and Procedures

April 17, 2020

Earlier today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference outlining several Executive Orders aimed at safely reopening businesses and state parks, and loosening restrictions on elective surgeries and procedures enacted in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The key points from the press conference are outlined below:

  • Governor Abbott is creating a strike force of prominent business leaders and healthcare officials to make recommendations on how to safely reopen businesses.

  • Effective April 22, 2020, surgeries or procedures may be performed in a licensed health care facility that has certified in writing to Texas Health and Human Services Commission that (1) it will reserve at least 25% of its hospital capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients, accounting for the range of clinical severity of COVID-19 patients, and (2) it will not request any PPE from any public source—whether federal, state or local—for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster. Full text of Executive Order (GA-15) can be found here.

  • Effective April 24, 2020, retail stores in Texas will be able to operate “retail-to-go.”

  • Effective April 20, 2020, state parks will be reopened; however, visitors must wear face coverings or masks and must maintain a 6 feet distance from others who do not live in the same household. No group gatherings larger than five persons are allowed.

  • Texas public and private schools will remain closed through the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

  • On April 27, 2020, Governor Abbott will make more announcements regarding reopening businesses and expanding healthcare operations in Texas.

To view the Office of the Governor’s corresponding news release outlining details of today’s Executive Orders, please visit here . We will keep you apprised of any updates or guidance as they are made available related to Executive Order GA-15.

Weaver Johnston & Nelson, PLLC
10440 N. Central Expressway, Suite 1400
Dallas, Texas 75231
Phone: (214) 705-3515 
Ashley E. Johnston
Phone: (214) 763-8296
Board Certified – Health Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Joshua M. Weaver
Phone: (214) 705-3516
Board Certified – Health Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Joseph E. Nelson
Phone: (214) 705-3907
Board Certified – Health Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Steve Litke
Phone: (972) 427-7685
Chris Reed
Phone: (214) 705-3935
Kevin Mitchell
Phone: (469) 680-9049
Shannon Cahalan
Phone: (214) 938-9898
Stephanie Toth
Phone: (469) 480-9729
Rachael Nelson Gearing
Phone: (469) 680-9609
Vicki Wanjura
Phone: (214) 587-6026
Paul Wehrmann
Phone: (214) 957-0919