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Posts published in “Day: July 29, 2021

County returns COVID-19 threat level to Orange; urges mask wearing

HARRIS COUNTY – Judge Lina Hidalgo announced she was increasing the county’s COVID-19 Threat Level Indicator from Level 3: Yellow, the system’s second-lowest threat level, to Level 2: Orange, the system’s second-highest threat level due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Threat level 2 indicates a significant and “uncontrolled level” of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning that there is ongoing transmission of the virus, according to the county’s COVID-19 data hub.

At this level, county officials, urge unvaccinated residents to minimize contact with others, avoid any medium or large gatherings, and visit only permissible businesses that follow public health guidance.

Hidalgo blamed the Delta variant and flattening vaccination rates for the increase in infections.

Over the past few weeks the region has been hit hard by the arrival of the Delta variant, Hidalgo said during the briefing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that the Delta variant accounts for an estimated 83 percent of new coronavirus cases in the United States. As for the region Texas is a part of, as of July 17, the variant comprises 84 percent of new coronavirus cases, Hidalgo noted.

Hidalgo also noted that the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate is doubling every 2.3 weeks, faster than at any point during the third wave of the disease in December.

“It’s not too late,” Hidalgo said. “But if we don’t act now, it will be too late for many people.”

Hidalgo also said “everybody” should resume wearing masks to protect those that aren’t vaccinated. Currently, around 2.1 million Harris County residents, 44.1 percent of Harris County’s total population, are fully vaccinated, according to the county’s COVID-19 data hub.

Dems remain in DC, seek federal help

LOCAL LEGISLATORS IN WASHINGTON include Mary Ann Perez, Armando Walle, and Ana Hernandez.

WASHINGTON, DC – More than 50 Texas Democratic legislators remain holed up in a Washington, D.C. hotel, blocking an effort by Republicans to pass more restrictive voting laws during the present special session since state law requires at least 100 reps to have a quorum.

The legislators have been meeting with national Democratic leaders, such as Vice President Kamala Harris, but also dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 among its members. At least a half dozen legislators, who say they were already vaccinated, have tested positive for the virus while in the nation’s capital.

The legislators are pushing for federal voting legislation, called the For the People Act, which has already passed the U.S. House but remains bottled up in the Senate. Without changes to the Senate filibuster rule, passage seems unlikely. The special session in Austin ends Aug. 7, but Abbott has vowed to call another one if the Democrats remain absent, effectively stopping any legislation from passing.

Constable arrests gun-toting driver

EAST HARRIS COUNTY – Harris County Pct. 3 Constable Sherman Eagleton’s Office has released a video after a driver was accused of pointing a gun and shooting at another driver on Beltway 8 near Woodforest Boulevard last weekend.

“I saw him point the gun at your car,” a man is heard saying on the dashcam video to another man.

Days later, Constable Eagleton’s deputies arrested the suspect, Irvin Guevara, on a separate gun charge. Deputies expect he’ll face charges for the incident on the Beltway as well.