News Release

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Phil Wilson
HHS Executive Commissioner
Date:March 17, 2020
Christine Mann, 512-424-6951

Texas HHS Temporarily Suspends Non-Essential Visits to State Hospitals, State Supported Living Centers

AUSTIN – To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Texas Health and Human Services has temporarily suspended visitation and on-campus events at state hospitals and state supported living centers across Texas.

“We are working across the state to protect the health and safety of the people we serve and our staff at our state hospitals and living centers,” said Mike Maples, HHS Deputy Executive Commissioner for the Health and Specialty Care System, which operates state hospitals and SSLCs. “We are continuing to keep families informed as we implement these precautionary measures to prevent the spread of infectious disease and protect everyone on campus.”

On-campus events such as family association meetings, volunteer services council meetings and express hiring events are cancelled until further notice. If applicable, meetings can be held by phone.

Rare exceptions to the temporary visitation policy may be granted with the approval of the patient’s or resident’s treatment team and the associate commissioner. The policy does not apply to in-person visits for people receiving end-of-life care, state investigators, law enforcement, Texas Office of Inspector General, and judges, attorneys and staff.

All approved visitors will be subject to a temperature check before entering the facility as well as a travel history check. People visiting these facilities must pass these screenings to be allowed on campus. There are no exceptions.

State hospitals provide inpatient psychiatric care for patients, and SSLCs provide 24-hour residential care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

People can stay up-to-date on the latest guidance from Texas HHS by visiting the Texas HHS COVID‑19 page. For health-related information and general precautions on COVID-19, visit the DSHS website and the CDC page.