Updated at 5:44 p.m., March 22, 2020: to include Abbott’s one-month ban on elective dental procedures.
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday ordered dentists, as well as other health care professionals in Texas, to postpone for one month all elective surgeries and non-emergency procedures.
Abbott’s new executive order directs dentists as well as doctors to delay until 11:59 p.m. on April 21 “all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary” to preserve a patient’s life or avoid “adverse medical consequences.”
Abbott’s order applies to all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities.
The main impetus for it was to free up hospital beds for Texans who have contracted the novel coronavirus. However, many workers in the dental profession believed keeping dentists’ offices open posed a hazard to their and patients’ health – by increasing community spread of the virus. It also depletes scarce masks,