Texas Medical Board Press Release
April 30, 2020

Media contact: Jarrett Schneider, 512-305-7018
Customer service: 512-305-7030 or 800-248-4062

TMB Adopts Emergency Rule Related to Gov. Abbott’s Executive Order GA-19

Following Governor Greg Abbott’s issuance of Executive Order GA-19, the Texas Medical Board’s Executive Committee today adopted rules on an emergency basis.
The adopted rule amends 22 TAC Chapter 190.8 Violation Guidelines, and adds to the definition of “Unprofessional and Dishonorable Conduct” under 22 TAC §190.8(2)(U).

The adopted emergency rule goes into effect May 1, 2020 at 12:00 a.m.

The rule adds the following required minimum standards for safe practice related to COVID-19,
and certain posting notice of those minimum standards:

(U) Notice and Compliance Requirements Concerning COVID-19 Minimum Standards of Safe Practice

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

      1.   a mask must be worn by both the patient and physician or the physician’s delegate when in proximity of the patient (meaning less than a 6-foot distance between the patient and the physician or the physician’s delegate);
      2.   follow policies the physician, medical and healthcare practice, or facility has in place regarding COVID-19 screening and testing and/or screening patients;
      3.   that, before any encounter, patients must be screened for potential symptoms of COVID-19 or verified previously screened within last 20 days; and
      4.   that prior to care involving a medical procedure or surgery on the mucous membranes, including the respiratory tract, with a high risk of aerosol transmission, the minimum safety equipment used by a physician or physician’s delegate should include N95 masks, or an equivalent protection from aerosolized particles, and face shields.

II.  All physicians providing patient care or engaging in an in-person patient encounter in medical and healthcare practices, offices, and facilities, other than hospitals as defined under Chapter 241 of the Texas Health & Safety Code, shall post a COVID-19 Minimum Standards of Safe Practice Notice (COVID-19 Notice), delineating the minimum standards of safe practice described in this subsection, in each public area and treatment room or area of the office, practice, or facility.

The Executive Committee also withdrew emergency rules related to Executive Order GA-15
effective May 1, 2020 at 12:00 a.m.

The Board will publish guidance related to Executive Order GA-19 on the TMB website at

For the latest COVID-19 information for health providers and the public, visit the Department of
State Health Services (DSHS) COVID-19 web page at dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/.