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Gov. Greg Abbott has again suspended elective surgeries in hospitals in 104 counties located within 11 of the state’s 22 trauma service areas.

Each of the trauma service areas has a regional advisory council and a trauma system plan to respond to health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the proclamation, Abbott directed all hospitals in designated counties to postpone surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient, as determined by the patient’s physician.

GA-27, a similar proclamation issued by Abbott on June 25, remains in effect and applies to the counties of Bexar, Cameron, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo, Nueces, Travis and Webb.

“We are freeing up more resources to address upticks in COVID-19 related cases,” Abbott said in a news release explaining the Thursday, July 9, proclamation. “The State of Texas will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread of this virus and support our hospitals and health care professionals as they care for their fellow Texans. We must all come together and continue to practice social distancing, wear a face covering in public, and stay home when possible,” added Abbott.

On Friday, July 10, Abbott extended his March 13 COVID-19 disaster proclamation for all counties in Texas.

Cumulative figures posted on Sunday, July 12, by the Texas Department of State Health Services showed some 258,658 people in Texas diagnosed with COVID-19 and 3,192 confirmed deaths resulting from the disease.

City cancels GOP event

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Wednesday, July 8, announced that he had instructed the city’s event licensor to exercise its contractual rights to cancel the Texas Republican Party’s in-person state convention.

Turner made the decision to proceed with the cancellation after Dr. David Persse of the Houston Health Department said the city “is confronting an unparalleled and frightening escalation in the spread of the COVID-19 virus” and called the planned convention “a clear and present danger.”

The convention, expected to attract 6,000 delegates, was scheduled to start on Thursday, July 16, at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

The Republican Party of Texas sued Houston First Corporation, the City of Houston and Mayor Turner to allow the convention, but Harris County District Court Judge Larry Weiman sided with the defendants. The Republican Party of Texas said it would file its appeal with the Texas Supreme Court.