Texas Medical Board Adopts Emergency Rule in Response to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-19

April 30, 2020

Today, the Texas Medical Board (“TMB”) adopted an emergency rule in response to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-19.[1]  The adopted rule sets required minimum standards for safe practice related to COVID-19 and requires posting notice of those minimum standards.  The emergency rule goes into effect May 1, 2020 at 12:00 a.m.  Also effective May 1, 2020 at 12:00 a.m., TMB will withdraw the emergency rule adopted in response to Executive Order GA-15. 

All physicians providing patient care or engaging in an in-person patient encounter must implement the following COVID-19 standards of safe practice:

  • A mask must be worn by the patient and the physician or the physician’s delegate when the patient and the physician or the physician’s delegate are less than 6-feet apart;
  • All policies the physician, medical and healthcare practice, or facility has in place regarding COVID-19 screening and testing and/or screening patients must be followed;
  • Before any encounter, patients must be screened for potential symptoms of COVID-19 or it must be verified that the patient was previously screened within last 20 days; and
  • Prior to care involving a medical procedure or surgery on the mucous membranes with a high risk of aerosol transmission, a physician or physician’s delegate should use N95 masks, or an equivalent protection from aerosolized particles, and face shields.

Additionally, all physicians providing patient care or engaging in an in-person patient encounter in medical and healthcare practices, offices, and facilities, other than hospitals, shall post a COVID-19 Minimum Standards of Safe Practice Notice, delineating the above minimum standards of safe practice in each public area and treatment room or area of the office, practice, or facility.

TMB will issue additional guidance related to Executive Order GA-19 on its website, which can be accessed here.


[1] http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/dl/6765AAAE-C598-8E73-E59B-C27AA5AC19AA.