HARRIS COUNTY, TX — Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is increasing the COVID-19 threat level in the area to red, which means it's severe, and residents should stay home. The level will be increased effective at 12 p.m. today, according to ABC13.
Hidalgo made the announcement during a briefing this morning.
"The harsh truth is that our current infection rate is on pace to overwhelm our hospitals in the very near future," Judge Hidalgo said. "We hope this serves as a wakeup call to everyone that the time to act is now."
Under the level one threat, you're urged to:
- Stay home, unless you need to make trips to the grocery store for food and medicine
- Avoid and cancel all gatherings of any size
- Practice special precautions to prevent spread if you're an essential worker
- All vulnerable individuals (65+ or with pre-existing health conditions) stay home
- Self-quarantine for 14 days if in close and prolonged contact with someone who has tested positive with COVID-19
- Wear face coverings to protect others
- Avoid non-essential business and personal travel
- Avoid public transportation where possible
- Cancel visits to nursing homes, long term care facilities, and hospitals
- Avoid and cancel all indoor and outdoor gatherings, including concerts, rodeos, large sporting events, etc. Schools and after-school activities for youth close, as directed by educational authorities
Hidalgo also said she would be issuing an advisory similar to the initial "Stay Home, Work Safe" order issued in the county in March, when COVID-19 - related shutdowns began, though details were not given, according to KTRK.
Hidalgo doesn't have the authority to issue another order, but said the advisory would mirror one.
Hidalgo's announcement comes on the same day that Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order limiting certain businesses and services as part of the state’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.