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Texas prepares to resume elective medical procedures

Allowing for non-emergency exams and procedures is seen as an opportunity to get the economy moving while maintaining the ability to closely monitor COVID-19 cases.

DALLAS —

While hospitals serve as the focal point for treating the most severe COVID-19 cases, a large part of Texas’ medical community has been on hold to try and flatten the curve.

Starting Wednesday, elective procedures can resume, allowing doctors and patients to begin mapping out their next step. 

Dr. Mark Casanova, president of the Dallas County Medical Society, says things like exams and surgeries will be allowed provided your doctors office has sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE). 

“I don’t think we should expect, just like any other aspect of restarting a sector, that’s it’s like a light switch that suddenly goes on and we have the capability to do all procedures that were backlogged,” Casanova said. “I think we’re going to see those rollout.”

Hospitals, if they choose to allow elective procedures, still have to ensure there’s enough ICU and bed capacity for COVID-19 patients.

But for those waiting on a procedure or surgery, Casanova says to keep one question in mind.

“When can my physician and I, within the institution we need to perform our test, most effectively and safely do it?” Casanova said.

Restarting elective procedures combines with Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to allow retail-to-go on Friday  to slowly reopen Texas’ economy.

RELATED: What to know about Gov. Abbott's orders to reopen Texas economy amid coronavirus pandemic

Casanova says it will also give doctors tracking COVID-19 cases needed time to see what effect allowing us to do more will mean for the virus’ spread.

“We have our work cut out for us to monitor that, to see if there’s any negative impact and also prepare for the next phase of reopening,” Casanova said.

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