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Posts published in “Day: July 2, 2020

COVID-19 SPREAD CONTINUES: Harris County raises threat level to ‘Severe’, advises masks, stay home

Judge Hidalgo Urges Residents to Stay Home, Leave Only for Vital Needs

Harris County, Texas — June 26, 2020 — Today at noon, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo updated the county’s COVID-19 public threat level from significant (orange, level two) to severe (red, level one). Level one indicates a “severe and uncontrolled” level of COVID19, meaning outbreaks are worsening, contact tracing capacity is strained or exceeded, and healthcare surge is likely. The elevation to threat level 1 – the highest in the system – comes as a variety of data demonstrate alarming trends that are on track to overwhelm the local healthcare system.

“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. I’m calling on all residents and businesses to take immediate action to help our medical community get this virus back in check before it spirals beyond control and more lives are needlessly sacrificed. Stay and work from home except for essential business. Wear a face covering if you absolutely have to be out. We’ve flattened the curve before, and we can do it again, but we need to buckle down and do this together.”

Under a level one threat, the public is urged to:

Stay home, except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine

Avoid and cancel all gatherings of any size.

Essential workers practice special precautions to prevent spread.

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.

Area hospitals have reached their full ICU base capacity and are now relying on surge space to treat patients. The number of daily cases and hospitalizations have also reached their highest point since the beginning of the pandemic.

Highlands Rotary installs new officers

Judge Mike Parrott swears-in Andy Scott as the President of Highlands Rotary for 2020-2021.

The Rotary Club of Highlands installed their new officers for the 2020- 2021 Rotary year on June 19. Judge Mike Parrott was the installing officer for the evening’s banquet, hosted by Robert & Ann Woodall. Larry White led the group in prayer, then Denise Smith led the pledge of allegiance. The event was catered by Catfish on Wheels.

Scott Rainey, District Governor-Elect, gave a welcome from the district and commended the Rotary Club of Highlands on their hard work for the year. Numerous recognitions and awards were presented to various members for their contributions through the year, as well as perfect attendance awards.

Judge Lina Hidalgo self-quarantining after potential COVID-19 exposure

HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced that she is self-quarantining after being potentially exposed to COVID-19 last week.

The exposure came on Monday from a member of the Harris County Judge’s office, who tested positive and now is self-isolating.

Hidalgo and staff who were potentially exposed will be tested and are self-quarantining for 14 days from exposure until Monday, July 6, following the CDC guidelines. Hidalgo has not shown any symptoms.

“Given what we have learned, I will be quarantining at home. The reality of it is, there are thousands of residents across Harris County that are increasingly finding themselves in the same position I am in today,” said Judge Hidalgo. “There are rising numbers of residents testing positive for this virus, and more and more requiring hospitalization.

Update on San Jacinto River Waste Pits: EPA says deeper toxic waste means more time & money

This illustration of a typical cofferdam and dewatering process, furnished by the EPA, may be the type called for in the Design Package.

By Jennah Durant, EPA Press Office

Here is more information on recent SJR waste pits questions:

1. Have you received the 30% Design package for the South impoundment?

Yes. The 30% design package for the south impoundment was submitted to EPA on April 13, 2020.

2. Have you received the 30% Design package for the North impoundment?

Yes. The 30% design package for the north impoundment was submitted to EPA on May 28, 2020.

3. Will these documents be available to the public? When?

The documents are currently under review by the regulatory agencies. Following EPA’s review of the document and determination that the design is appropriate based on the remedy selected in the Record of Decision, EPA will make the document available to the public.

4. Regardless of whether the reports are public, could you furnish me with an executive summary or your own summation of what they say? 

• The pre-design investigations have refined the volume of waste to be removed in the north and south impoundment;

• Waste in some areas of the northern impoundment are deeper than presented in the Record of Decision;