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Welcome to Houston HealthScope,
the Houston Health Department newsletter!

We welcome your feedback at hhdcommunications@houstontx.gov

March 21, 2020
COVID-19 Special Edition 4
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Visit houstonemergency.org/covid19 for COVID-19 
guidance in more than a dozen languages.

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HoustonEmergency.org/COVID19

First Houston COVID-19 testing site expands to older adults with symptoms

The first free COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in Houston will expand services on Saturday, March 21, 2020, to symptomatic people age 65 and older.

People 65 and older with cough, difficulty breathing, and fever may call the Houston Health Department COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to be screened. People who meet the testing criteria will be provided a unique identification code and instructions on where to go for testing.

The site will only accept people with a unique identification code obtained through the screening process. People who show up without an identification code will not be tested.  Read the News Release

Positive COVID-19 Cases in Houston: 19

  • 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
  • Case 6: Male | Age 50-60 | No known travel | Hospitalized
  • Case 7: Male | Age 70-80 | Travel to New York | Home Recovering
  • Case 8: Male | Age 50-60 | Travel to Spain | Home Recovering
  • Case 9: Female | Age 20-30 | Travel to Mexico | Hospitalized
  • Case 10: Male | Age 60-70 | No known travel | Hospitalized
  • Case 11: Female | Age 50-60 | No known travel | Hospitalized
  • Case 12: Female | Age 50-60 | Travel to Kansas |Hospitalized
  • Case 13: Male | Age 40-50 | Travel to Georgia |Hospitalized
  • Case 14: Female | Age 60-70 | No known travel |Home Recovering
  • Case 15: Female | Age 60-70 | Travel to Spain | Home Recovering
  • Case 16: Male | Age 50-60 | Travel UK | Home Recovering
  • Case 17: Male | Age 40-50 | Travel to NY, NJ, PA | Home Recovering
  • Case 18: Male | Age 40-50 | Travel to Colorado | Home Recovering
  • Case 19: Male | 40-50 | Travel to Nevada | Home Recovering

Guidance for all Houstonians

  • Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
  • Practice social distancing by maintaining six feet of separation from other people as mush as possible.
  • Avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
  • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
  • Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical care situations.
  • Practice healthy hygiene habits:
    • 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.
  • Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
  • 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.
  • If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule. You and your employers should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
  • Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 frequently for updates.

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.


Lern more at HoustonHealth.org.






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