Elective surgeries to resume at UT Health East Texas

April 21, 2020

Tyler, Texas (April 20, 2020) — At UT Health East Texas, the health of each patient, our caregivers, and the community is our priority. As we have navigated uncharted territory with the COVID-19 global pandemic, UT Health East Texas has continued to care for patients in our hospitals and clinics, with a focus on patient and caregiver safety. We have developed and implemented protocols and practices to protect the well-being of our patients, our caregivers and our communities. 

“One of our biggest concerns in the weeks since COVID-19 emerged in East Texas is patients who might be putting off routine medical care or planned surgeries, resulting in more emergent medical issues,” said Moody Chisholm, UT Health East Texas President and CEO. “We know that the outcome for a patient is far better if we can treat the problem before it becomes an emergency.”

The executive order Gov. Greg Abbott signed last week allows hospitals to resume non-urgent surgical procedures starting Wednesday if they maintain 25% of their bed capacity for the care of COVID-19 patients and have an adequate supply of personal protective equipment.

UT Health East Texas will resume elective surgical procedures on Wednesday. When we do, the safety of our caregivers and patients will remain our first priority. We are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines as well as state and local government orders.

“We are committed to providing continuity of care, and will assess care needs with individual patients,” said Dr. Thomas Cummins, Chief Medical Officer. “We will provide our best care guidance while balancing the risks of community COVID-19 spread.”

We are monitoring the health of all our employees daily. We continue to limit visitors and all visitors must go through COVID-19 screening questions and have a temperature check before entering/re-entering all facilities.

We will continue proper distancing, hand sanitizing, masks and additional cleaning measures at our facilities. All patients and visitors are required to participate. COVID-19 and potential COVID-19 patients will continue to be isolated to a separate area of our facilities as well as the caregivers that serve these patients.

“We understand this is a time of uncertainty. We want the community to know that we are here and ready to care for patients in a safe environment,” Chisholm said. “We appreciate the community’s support as we take extra precautions to provide the safest environment possible for all who visit and work at our hospitals.”