Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and team have devised a new threat level system to combat the rising hospitalizations of COVID-19 in Harris County.
Leading Harris County: Public Guidelines for a Healthy Community
Message from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo
During this uncertain time, we must do everything we can to put ourselves in the best position to succeed in our fight against COVID-19: manage the spread of the virus, keep the number of cases and deaths low, and keep our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Safety measures such as social distancing, wearing face coverings, and staying home from work, school, and social activities are difficult. But, if followed closely, these orders and policies can save thousands of lives. They can give us our best shot at reopening sustainably, rather than driving our community toward the breaking point time and time again, hurting our economy even more profoundly over the long term.
We cannot, at least not now, go back to the way our lives were before COVID-19 emerged in Harris County. We must assess the risk for everything we do. Harris County Public Health has developed the recommendations published here to help us safely navigate our everyday lives and better manage the ebbs and flows in severity of the threat of COVID-19. We must remember that a resurgence of the virus that can knock us down and put us right back where we started, or worse, is right around the corner as long as a vaccine or treatment are not readily available.
We all want to get back to work, see our friends, hug our family, go out to eat, and resume our livelihoods without limitations, but we still have a long road ahead of us to end this epidemic. Here in Harris County, we remain committed to taking whatever actions are necessary to save lives — not just the lives of people with the virus, but the lives of anyone requiring a hospital bed. We will continue this fight to keep you and your family healthy as long as we have to. Here in Harris County, we are in this together.
Message from Dr. Umair Shah, Director, Harris County Public Health
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact globally, nationally and locally here in Harris County. Currently there is no treatment or vaccine to prevent COVID-19, so prevention is the best way to reduce your chances of getting COVID-19. This includes tried and true actions such as maintaining social distancing from others (6ft or 2m), wearing facial coverings, proper handwashing, and staying home and away from others if you are sick. Extensive social distancing and these other types of interventions have shown to be successful in other countries to prevent or delay a rapid increase in the number of cases and deaths. However, these measures do not eliminate the threat COVID-19 poses within our community.
Social distancing has allowed Harris County to slow down rapid accelerations in the number of positive cases as well as hospitalizations, which has given our public health and healthcare systems more time to prepare for a potential surge of cases. To continue reducing spread and deaths from COVID-19, social distancing and other preventive measures must be sustained, and testing must be widely available until vaccine options are developed.
Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is continually working to keep the community healthy and safe by conducting its epidemiology (disease detective) work including disease surveillance and investigations; building data and technology infrastructure; coordinating and providing testing, both in the community and at nursing homes and other group facilities; monitoring levels of important supplies and equipment in the healthcare system; and continuing to reach out to educate the community.
HCPH has developed these local public health recommendations as a guide for residents to understand better state and local COVID-19 orders and guidance. It will take everyone in the community working as a team to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ultimately stop this pandemic.
We thank all our community, including businesses, faith-leaders, and other partners for continuing to do their part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Harris County. We must all come together to combat COVID-19 today and into the future.
Click to download the entire document: Harris County Public Health Public Guidelines for a Healthy Community
Here are slides from the document:
For those of you who insist that our political leaders are fearmongering this virus in order to get Trump reelected, how about looking at the facts? And the fact is, hospitalizations in Texas and Harris County continue to increase daily. Besides which, Harris County doesn’t need any fearmongering for people to vote against Donald Trump, he does just fine with that on his own.
Harris County’s political leaders continue to lead the way in addressing this virus. Just the fact, Jack.