Welcome to Houston HealthScope,
the Houston Health Department newsletter!

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March 16, 2020
We all have a role to play in protecting our community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Visit for updated information about local risk, fact sheets, frequently asked questions, communication resources, rumor control, emergency preparedness tips and more.

COVID-19 Cases in Houston: 5

  • Case 1: Male | Age 60-70 | Travel to Egypt | Home Recovering
  • Case 2: Female | Age 60-70 | Travel to Egypt | Home Recovering
  • Case 3: Female | Age 15-25 | Travel from New York | Recovering
  • Case 4: Female | Age 70-80 | Travel to Egypt | Home Recovering
  • Case 5: Male | Age 50-60 | Travel to Panama | Hospitalized

Guidance for the general public

  • Even if you are not ill, avoid visiting hospitals, long term care facilities or nursing homes to the extent possible. If you do need to visit one of these facilities limit your time there and keep six feet away from patients.
  • Do not go to the emergency room unless it’s a medical emergency. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
  • If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact a healthcare professional. You must call ahead before going.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, use the elbow of your sleeve. Don’t use your hands to cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, especially if you are at higher risk for coronavirus.
  • Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress to keep your immunity strong.
  • Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Visit frequently for updates.

What you need to know about community spread

The Houston Health Department is taking proactive steps to protect the health of our community by making recommendations that are meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the number of people infected.

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Communication resources

Flyers in multiple languages are available at

COVID-19 call center open

The Houston Health Department is operating a COVID-19) call center for Houston residents needing more information COVID-19.

Houstonians can call the center at 832-393-4220 to speak to department staff and obtain information about the disease or get their questions answered.

The call center will open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

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The Houston Health Department (HHD) works in partnership with the community to promote and protect the health and social well-being of Houstonians and the environment in which they live. HHD is a full-service health department that not only performs all core functions of a Public Health Department but also many enhanced functions including initiatives to address health inequities. HHD services
benefit all Houston residents but the department also takes additional steps to support those most in need, such as low-income mothers and children, the elderly and minority populations. Most HHD functions serve the 2.3 million residents of the City of Houston but the scope and impact extends into Harris County’s population of 4.7 million people through the department’s Area Aging on Aging, Bureau of Youth and Adolescent Health, Project Saving Smiles, See to Succeed, immunization strategies, syndromic surveillance and HIV-STD surveillance. HHD’s laboratory also services a 17-county region.

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Houston Health Department · 8000 N StadiumDrive · Houston, TX 7705 · USA