Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced several new initiatives Monday to help address a surge in COVID-19 infections, including asking hospitals to delay nonessential medical procedures in order to free up hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, and requesting out-of-state medical personnel to come help with the surge in cases.
Why it matters: Even as Abbott now makes moves to counter the coronavirus surge, he remains staunchly opposed to public health measures that would mitigate the virus' spread.
State of play: Out-of-state healthcare workers will be brought in to bolster COVID-19 operations, a reversal from the state's policy in July, notes the Texas Tribune.
- Abbott also instructed state agencies to open more COVID-19 antibody infusion centers across the state to treat COVID-19 patients with therapeutic drugs.
- Abbott also directed state agencies to "increase vaccination availability across the state," per the press release.
The big picture: The new measures did not include a reversal of Abbott's opposition to public health restrictions.
- In late July Abbott issued a state-wide ban on mask and vaccine mandates on July 29, saying "the path forward relies on personal responsibility."
- Texas schools are also not required to conduct contact tracing.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated.