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Posts tagged as “Sylvester Turner”

County returns COVID threat level to RED

Delta Variant fills Hospitals

HARRIS COUNTY – Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo raised the COVID-19 threat level to “red” on Thursday afternoon, as the COVID-19 delta variant has increased hospitalizations and strained the region’s hospital resources over the past month.

It’s the first time the county has hit its highest threat level since June 2020.

The new advisory indicates that severe and uncontrolled outbreaks are present in the community and worsening, and that the public health capacity in the region is strained or exceeded, Hidalgo said.

“It’s straining our staff, it’s straining our hospitals, and it’s imposing heartbreak and anxiety in so many families in Harris County,” Hidalgo said.

The county judge called the latest surge a “perfect storm” of strained staff, a more transmissible virus, and the limited ability for local leaders to implement public health policies after Gov. Greg Abbott issued orders preventing such measures.

Hidalgo urged everyone eligible for a vaccine to get one, or else avoid “all but the most essential interactions.” She also recommended both the vaccinated and unvaccinated wear masks, and told the public to use ERs for life-threatening emergencies only.

Local Leaders oppose SB7 bill as Voter Suppression

HOUSTON – Amid a national outcry against proposed restrictive voting bills in many Republican controlled states, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo hosted a press conference Monday to voice their opposition to Texas House Bill 6 and Texas Senate Bill 7.

“These bills are going through on our watch,” said Turner. “What’s happening in the state of Texas, in the legislature, is wrong.”

“Soon enough, we will have taken the largest step back since Jim Crow,” said Hidalgo. “The dominoes of basic voting rights are starting to fall.”

Lt Governor Dan Parick also held a news conference in Austin this week, angrily defending the bills and accusing opponents of lying about whether they restricted or limited voting, and especially minority voters.

Among other items, Texas HB 6 would prohibit government officials from sending mail-in ballot applications to voters. In addition, it would require anyone providing help to a disabled voter at the polls to show an ID and share why they’re helping the disabled individual.

Texas SB 7 would require people to have legitimate reasons to vote by mail, get rid of drive-thru voting, and allow poll watchers to record video.

Census count ends Sept. 30th

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia speaks about the need for everyone to register in the Census which is soon drawing to a conclusion. Garcia was talking at the BakerRipley center in East Aldine, along with others including East Aldine’s Richard Cantu, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Pct. 2 Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Pct. 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, State Representative Armando Walle, and BakerRipley president Claudia Aguirre.

Sylvia Garcia, County and City leaders hold Census Caravan

HARRIS COUNTY – U.S. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia has organized an intense public effort to count as many residents of the area as possible, stating that federal dollars that are sent to the state, county, and city are dependent upon the number of people counted and living in the area.

To draw attention to the need to sign up in the Census, Garcia and other community leaders have organized “Census Caravans” that drive through neighborhoods and urge residents to complete their census forms. Garcia says it only takes 5 minutes to complete the questionnaire, and can be done in several different ways.

Last Saturday the Census Caravan drove through the streets of East Aldine. Authorities have noted that this is one of the areas where only a small percentage of the residents have registered.

Hurricane relief to Disaster areas

President Trump, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, FEMA officials, and others walk through the debris of the hurricane Laura disaster that struck Lake Charles, and other portions of Southern Louisiana.

ORANGE – Texas Senator Ted Cruz capped a day of looking into the remnants of Hurricane Laura by saying, “Texans all across the state, Texans here in southeast Texas are breathing a giant sigh of relief right now. This hurricane could have been much, much worse. We just completed an aerial tour of the region and the damage is much more contained than prior hurricanes have been. Obviously, our hearts are heavy for our neighbors in Louisiana. We toured some of that damage as well. The damage in Louisiana is significantly greater, but given the magnitude of this storm, it could have been so much worse.”

And the storms will get worse: Hurricane Harvey almost exactly three years before holds the record for fastest and strongest intensifications in the Gulf of Mexico, for two weeks it held the record for fastest and strongest intensification anywhere then Hurricane Irma beat that. Laura went from tropical storm 35 miles per hour winds to 150 miles per hour overnight.

Hurricane relief is needed by neighbors in eastern Louisiana area who are recovering from Hurricane Laura. The following items are needed: 1. Tarps, 2. Non-perishable food items , 3. Batteries, 4. Water, 5. Diapers (size 3, 4 and 5), 6. Baby wipes, 7. Disinfectant wipes.

Private efforts including Project Hope (844) 349- 0188, supporting healthcare workers worldwide, Samaritan fund, and others like the Red Cross re gathering donations.

Saturday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner indicated the city is partnering with several local businesses and entities to gather donated supplies for residents who were hit by Hurricane Laura.

COVID MASKS new policy for Houston

HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner announced today that he has directed the Houston Police Department to issue warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a face mask or face covering required by the state’s mandatory mask order. Police will not ticket those who are not wearing a mask if they meet the exemption criteria. The citation carries a $250 fine.

“We know that wearing a mask or face-covering in public is one of the most effective methods to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Lives are at stake, so I am taking this step to save lives and slow the virus from spreading in August.”

Houston police will not respond to 9-1-1 calls about people not wearing masks.

HOUSTON & HARRIS COUNTY HEALTH DEPTS: Health order requires no in-person instruction until at least Sept. 8

Harris County, Texas – July 24, 2020, Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health (HCPH) and Local Health Authority for Harris County, and David Persse, MD, FACEP, FAEMS, Local Health Authority for the Houston Health Department, signed a joint public health order requiring all public and nonreligious private schools in Harris County to remain closed to in-person instruction until at least September 8. The start of on-campus instruction and activity may be delayed further based on ongoing monitoring and assessment of public health mitigation conditions.

The order follows the release of a provision from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) permitting schools to delay in-person instruction and a letter sent to local school districts from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Dr. Shah on July 20 strongly urging schools to delay in-person instruction given the ongoing public health crisis. Over the past several weeks, Harris County authorities have consulted with local school officials, parents, teachers, and other public health and safety experts on reopening plans and the most responsible path forward regarding school operations.

“In order for students to be able to learn and grow, they must also be healthy and safe,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “Right now, we continue to see a severe and uncontrolled spread of this virus and it would be self-defeating to reopen schools as usual for in-person instruction. We are all desperate to move on from this crisis and get life back to normal. September 8 is still likely too soon, but the truth is, the fastest way we can all work together to bring this virus under control, the sooner we will be in a position to reopen again for the long term.”

County mandates masks; Governor refuses statewide order

LEFT: Judge Hidalgo wearing a mask. Harris County and Houston have issued orders requiring masks for businesses, employees and customers.Violating Businesses are subject to $1000 fines. RIGHT: Governor Abbott wears a face mask on Tuesday at a press conference, where he urged voluntary wearing of masks and social distancing, but refused to issue an order making them mandatory.

As hospital admissions for COVID-19 continue to climb across the county, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed an order requiring businesses to generate, post, and implement health and safety policies which include, at a minimum, a requirement that workers, customers or visitors wear face coverings. The order took effect on Monday, June 22, 2020 and runs until Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

The order directs all commercial entities providing goods or services to require that all employees or visitors to a business premise wear face coverings in areas that involve any proximity to co-workers or the public. Face coverings may include homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas, or a handkerchief. Commercial entities must post the health and safety policy in a conspicuous location sufficient to provide notice to employees and visitors of all health and safety requirements.

“There’s no magic wand government can wave to make this virus go away, but we can take steps to ensure that we provide our community with the guidance and tools it needs to fight back,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “This isn’t just the right thing to do for our health and safety, it’s also good for business. We owe it to our community to ensure that those who do have to go out can have the confidence in knowing that the businesses they are patronizing are looking out for their customers, workers, and community as a whole.”

To support the development of health and safety policies, Harris County is making available a sample health and safety policy and additional guidelines for businesses. Businesses that fail to develop, post, and implement a Health and Safety Policy are subject to a $1,000 for each violation.

EXCEPTIONS TO FACE COVERING ORDER

FIGHTING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: County issues “Stay Home Work Safe” order

HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE LINA HIDALGO AND HOUSTON MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER MAKE JOINT ANNOUNCEMENT TUESDAY MORNING.

Effective thru April 3rd; Virus cases reach 284

HARRIS COUNTY – Faced with the reality of mounting cases of the infectious and potentially lethal Coronavirus known as COVID-19, local leaders have issued an order to “Stay Home Work Safe” which amounts to a shelter in place directive.

At a joint news conference Tuesday morning, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner called for all but essential members of the public to stay at home, not to travel and not to congregate in groups. Businesses were advised to have their employees work at home. The order is set to last ten days, until Friday April 3rd.

As of Tuesday, there were 284 virus cases in the greater Houston area that had tested positive. These include Houston 55, Harris County 79 including 1 death, Brazoria County 28, Brazos County 16, Fort Bend County 46, Galveston County 21, Matagorda County 8, including 1 death, Montgomery County 23, Chambers County 1, Liberty County 1, Grimes County 2, Wharton County 3, and Walker County 1.

The Order allowed the public to travel for necessities such as food and fuel, and allowed workers in 16 essential categories to continue to work. These include: Healthcare, Law Enforcement and Public Safety, Food and Agriculture, Electricity or Utility workers, Petroleum, Natural and Propane gas workers, Water and Wastewater workers, Transportation and logistics, including auto repair and postal service, Public Works, Communications and Media including newspapers, Government and Education, Critical manufacturing, Hazardous materials, Financial services including banks, Chemical workers, and Defense industries.

AREA FIGHTS AGAINST SPREAD OF VIRUS

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Health officials and Rodeo officials, at press conference last week, announcing that the city and county were issuing Health State of Emergency notices for the month of March. The Rodeo closed immediately and most city events were cancelled.

Number of Cases rises to 36; Officials close Schools, cancel Public Events

UPDATED – March 17, 2020 – Health Officials confirmed the fifth case of coronavirus in the City of Houston, five more cases in Harris County, making a total of 36 in the Houston areas. Officials said that they recorded 5 cases in Houston, 11 cases in Harris County, 9 cases in Fort Bend County, 2 cases in Brazoria County, 2 in Galveston County, 4 in Montgomery County, 2 in Matagorda County, where a 90 year old man died, and 1 in Brazos County. (NOTE: This number will change as days go by.)

HOUSTON – With 36 coronavirus (COVID-19) cases reported in the Houston and Harris County areas, the city and the county are on high alert. Most of the cases can be traced to either a vacation cruise on the Nile River in Egypt, or attendance at the Houston Rodeo cook-off. However, several cases have not been identified with these causes, and are being investigated.

Actions have been taken to prevent the virus spread, such as closures of the Rodeo, schools and colleges, athletic events, and entertainment. This week the closure of all restaurants and bars was added and groups were limited to less than 50 persons. The scope of closures is unprecedented in modern times.

In East Harris County, school districts were closed, and hot meals were being distributed at various schools. Colleges and many public facilities, parks and libraries, were also closed.

A call center has been opened to answer questions from the public. Houstonians can call the center at 832-393- 4220 to speak to Health 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. It will return voice messages left after hours the following day on a first call, first served basis.

Federal action is expected later this week, with test centers and financial relief for those unable to work. The government has been criticized for a slow, late response to what the World Health Organization now calls a pandemic.

OFFICIALS CONFIRM 13TH CASE OF CORONAVIRUS IN HOUSTON AREA

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Health Director Umair Shah, at press conference last Thursday on Coronavirus.

Events Cancelled, Stock Market Down

UPDATED – March 10, 2020 – Health Officials confirmed the second case of coronavirus in the City of Houston, making a total of 13 in Houston and Fort Bend, Harris and Montgomery County areas. (NOTE: This number may change as days go by.)

The female patient, in the 60 to 70 age range, is part of the same group of travelers to Egypt associated with recent cases announced in Fort Bend County and Harris County. She is currently hospitalized and stable.

Harris County has established several phone numbers that the public can use to gain up-to-date information, or help reaching a healthcare professional. If you are without access to healthcare, call 713-634-1110. If you want information, call the Harris County Health Department at 832-393-4220.

HOUSTON, Texas – Harris County Public Health (HCPH) confirmed last Thursday four more cases of Coronavirus, bringing the total confirmed or presumptive to 13 in areas surrounding Harris County.

As a result of the health concerns, and to avoid spreading the virus, many schools and groups cancelled events. The Stock Market dropped 15% in a week, but slowly regained.

The new cases involved four people in their 60s who were exposed to the virus during a trip to Egypt last month. The 70- year-old from Fort Bend took the same trip and this case was confirmed last Wednesday by a Houston laboratory.

Three of the patients with coronavirus are hospitalized in stable condition and one is self-quarantined at home with mild symptoms, health officials stated. The others have cases have been resolved.