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Local Cancer Clinic Welcomes Easing of Elective Surgery Restrictions

Publication: KWTX-TV (CBS, Waco)

Restrictions on elective surgeries ordered to help stem the spread of the new coronavirus in Texas have made it difficult to treat certain cancer patients, Dr. Jeffery Lamont of Texas Oncology Surgical Specialists says, but starting Wednesday some of the restrictions will be eased.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order last week that provides exceptions for procedures that won't “deplete the hospital capacity or the PPE needed to cope with COVID-19;” any procedure in a licensed facility that has certified it will reserve at least 25% of its capacity for COVID-19 patients and that it won’t request PPE from any public source for the duration of the pandemic.

"This change will allow help us to move forward without a fear that we are breaking the law," Lamont said.

"We have been juggling cancer patients and doing things we don't normally do," he said.

“If someone has some sort of mass tumor and we think it's a cancer we still have to delay the treatment of it," he said.

"That's not really the optimal way to treat a cancer," he says.

Lamont says he’s still concerned about how elective surgeries will affect hospital capacity.

"The questions we are asking is are hospitals going to be able to handle the volume of new patients, are surgery centers going to be able to handle the volume?” Lamont said.

Regardless, he says, “We all need to continue to be careful."

This story also appeared on KLTV-TV (ABC, Tyler-Longview).

Click here to watch the full story.

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