As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout the United States and the world, certain states are starting to relax some of their “stay at home” efforts in order to help prevent the economy from slipping even further.
Some states like Texas and Georgia have begun to relax the types of businesses that are deemed “essential” so that people can get back to work and begin the process of getting back to normal.
As of May 1st, businesses in Georgia such as gyms, churches, hair and nail salons, and tattoo parlors, in addition to restaurants and movie theaters that opened back up earlier last week, are now able to re-open their doors to the public as long as they continue to follow CDC guidelines regarding masks and protective equipment, as well as social distancing.
While some people argue that it is too soon to begin opening up businesses such as these, some state governments don’t see it at that way.
Whether you believe it is too early or not, here in Texas, our practice has been open to essential appointments for patients, but with restrictions placed on visits.
Let us take a look at what some doctor’s offices are doing in order allow patients to begin visiting for in-office consultations and procedures, while still ensuring that patients and doctors remain as safe as possible.
What Restrictions are Being Lifted in Texas?
We mentioned Georgia above as they have been very vocal about re-opening businesses to get the economy moving again, and getting people back to work, but Texas, which is the home to Dr. Adams Plastic Surgery, is also beginning to re-open businesses as of May 1st.
Let’s take a look at what businesses in Texas are now open.
Restaurants in Texas are now able to open their doors to dine-in customers as long as they do not exceed an occupancy of 25%.
Malls and Retail Stores
Just like restaurants, retail stores have opened their doors to walk-in customers, but with a limited occupancy of 25%. Malls are now open as well.
Museums and Libraries
Libraries and museums are now open to the public; however the city of Austin has opted not to allow their libraries to re-open at this time.
Outdoor Sports and Golf
Golf courses are now allowed to re-open with a few stipulations. You can not have more than four people in a group – which is pretty normal when it comes to golf – however there is a maximum of one person per golf cart and two golf carts per group. So if you are golfing as a foursome, two people will have to walk.
In addition to golf courses opening, sports that can be played with less than four people can also resume. Which means that team sports like basketball, soccer, and football are still not allowed.
While movie theaters in Texas have been given the green light to re-open, none of them are going to at this time.
While the above businesses have begun to re-open their doors, what does this mean for medical practices and plastic surgeons in Texas?
Texas Elective Surgeries Resume
Elective surgeries in Texas were put on hold when the “stay at home” order went into effect last month, and it has been tough on doctors as well as patients.
While virtual consultations and in-office visits for urgent care have been allowed under the order, non-life-threatening elective surgeries were not allowed.
The major stipulation that comes with re-opening the ability to perform elective surgeries is that these surgeries cannot take away PPE supplies that are needed to help fight COVID-19, and that the surgeries cannot deplete the capacity of a hospital.
This means that elective surgeries that take place at clinics and offices outside of the hospital can resume their current schedules, and it’s up to the office or clinic to continue to follow the CDC guidelines to ensure a safe working environment for both patients and staff.
In some cases offices are only allowing the patient into the building, which means that no family members or loved ones can step foot through the door. Also, anyone entering the building must be wearing a face mask and not show any symptoms of being sick, or have been around someone that is sick.
In addition to that, the offices themselves are being cleaned and sanitized on a more frequent basis. This includes patient exam rooms, lobbies, front entryways, chairs, door knobs, etc..
The priority of all doctors is to ensure that our patients remain safe and healthy as things slowly being to re-open in the state of Texas.
For more information about what we are doing here at Dr. Adams Plastic Surgery, please visit our COVID-19 Update page.
If you have any questions about visiting our office, or about scheduling an appointment or surgery, please contact us through our website, or call us at 214-965-9885.