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Gov. Greg Abbott prepping state’s health care system for potential influx of coronavirus patients

HOUSTON – Gov. Greg Abbott wants to focus his efforts on improving the healthcare system as the number of coronavirus cases statewide continues to grow.

He said the system needs to be prepared for the potential influx of coronavirus patients.

“We want to maximize capacity for hospital beds, staffing, supply and the personal protection equipment,” Abbott said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

Abbott issued two executive orders that would free up more hospital beds for coronavirus patients.

“I’m directing all licensed healthcare professionals and all licensed healthcare facilities to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary,” he said.

In addition, Abbott is now suspending certain regulations to increase the capacity of hospital rooms, allowing hospitals to treat more than one patient in a room.

Abbott is also addressed the potential shortage of nurses by waiving several regulations.

“This will allow temporary permit extensions to practice for graduate nurses and graduate vocational nurses, who have yet to take the nursing license exam," he said. "It will allow for inactive nurses or retired nurses to reactivate their license.