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March 19, 2020
COVID-19 Special Edition 3

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Updates- March 18, 2020

Mayor Turner seeks federal support for the restaurant, bar and nightclub industry

While the City of Houston works to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Sylvester Turner urges federal leaders to assist restaurant, bar, and nightclub owners and employees who may be devastated by a loss in business.  Read the News Release

Houston Health Department announces five new COVID-19 cases

The Houston Health Department announced five new positive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID -19) cases on Wednesday, bringing the city’s total to 10.   Read the News Release

SBA disaster recovery assistance- informational webinars

The SBA Houston District Office provides information to help small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of Coronavirus. SBA offers information on how to apply and where you can get additional help with preparing and applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.  Learn More

Updates- March 17, 2020

Rumors of health dpartment testing sites opening March 18 are FALSE

The Houston Health Department is working with community partners to establish COVID-19 testing sites. Details will be announced when finalized.

Despite reports, the sites are NOT scheduled to open on March 18. Please DO NOT show up to a location you may have heard is a testing site. You will not be tested, and your presence could unintentionally put others at risk, cause delays, and interrupt the healthcare professionals who are working expeditiously to open the sites.

People currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms need to contact their medical provider.

Houston Public Library extends suspension of onsite service through March 2020

All Houston Public Library locations will be closed through the end of the month in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The closures come in response to directives from Mayor Sylvester Turner as well as Harris County and federal guidelines.  Read the News Release 

City extends Emergency Disaster Declaration; Mayor Turner cancels city events through April and announces new public meeting guidelines

In a special called meeting Tuesday morning, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston City Council members voted to indefinitely extend the proclamation of a local state of disaster due to a public health disaster for the City of Houston.  Read the News Release

Positive COVID-19 Cases in Houston: 10

  • 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

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 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.

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