By now, you’re probably sick of hearing about COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As a major port and metropolitan area, Houston is no exception to the spread. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared the Coronavirus a pandemic and several cases have been reported across the state of Texas.
All five of Texas’s largest urban areas have confirmed cases of the disease. While we’re not infectious disease experts, we wanted to compile and share the latest Houston updates on how the Coronavirus is affecting our local Houston community. Here’s the latest on the Coronavirus outbreak in Houston, Texas, and what our local community is doing to help Houstonians stay prepared:
As of March 15, 68 cases of the Coronavirus have been confirmed in Texas,according to latest reports from The Texas Tribune. Despite the sprawling nature of the southern state, cases span from East Texas to the Gulf Coast.
Houston is among the Texas metropolitan areas hit by the disease, with eight reported cases, as of 3:00 PM on Sunday, March 15, 2020, according to Harris County Public Health. Houston Public Media also published detailed reports of all 27 cases in the Greater Houston area. Thus number will likely increase as tests become more readily available. However,state and city leaders are taking measures to increase public safety and limit the spread.
Below, we’ve outlined a few important updates on how the Coronavirus is affecting the Houston
● School district and college closures
● Rice University staffer is among confirmed cases of Coronavirus
● Some students and faculty of Houston ISD , University of Houston, Rice University, and Memorial Hermann staffers self-quarantined
● Event cancellations, including remaining dates of the Houston Rodeo
● More employees are working remotely
● Grocery stores and ecommerce sites are experiencing shortages on food and sanitation supplies
● Visitations at nursing homes, prisons, state-sponsored centers and day cares have been restricted
● Texas health insurers and HMOs were asked to waive costs on testing for this illness.
● Bars are closes and restaurants now are limited to pickup and delivery services.
Here are links to the latest responses from Texas and Houston public officials on Coronavirus:
● Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declared a public health emergency this past Wednesday, March 11.
● Bob Harvey, CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership addressed employees and employers directly via livestream
● Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a statewide public health disaster last Friday,March 13, 2020, and said San Antonio is opening the first state drive-through with testing capabilities. It will initially prioritize health care workers and high-risk patients. Dallas, Houston, and Austin expect similar testing sites to open in coming weeks.
“Texas is taking additional measures to protect citizens, at this moment, I am declaring a state disaster for all counties in the state of Texas,” Abbott said.
Lastly, here are a few of the best Houston preparedness resources for COVID-19 (Coronavirus):
○ The Houston Health Department has opened a hotline for questions about COVID-19. Call 832-393-4220 Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. — 7 p.m. with any questions.
● Harris County Public Health - live dashboard featuring Coronavirus statistics for Harris County
● Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) — symptoms, resources, latest updates, healthcare professional contacts,and instructions on how to protect yourself and what do to if you are experiencing symptoms
○ The CDC also has a library of explainer videos to help people better understand the coronavirus
● Texas Governor Greg Abbott said those looking to be tested at a public health lab to call 211 to be directed to a facility with low or no cost providers.
At times like this, it is easy to panic. However, we want to recognize all the good deeds we have witnessed over the past few days. As was the case during and after Hurricane Harvey, we are seeing our Houston community once again come together to assist friends, neighbors, employees, coworkers, and complete strangers. We are proud to be a part of such a generous, community-first city.
We at Control Shift Video wish everyone, in Houston and worldwide,safety and health. Please consult the resources above if you think you may have symptoms or want advice on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from the Coronavirus.
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