LOCAL UPDATES: Rice University offering temporary housing for medical personnel working at the Texas Medical Center
HOUSTON – Here is the current number of officially reported coronavirus cases:
As the coronavirus cases in the Houston area continue to grow, follow the latest developments as they unfold:
Sunday, April 5
6:45 p.m. — Rice offers temporary housing for medical personnel
Rice University will provide temporary housing for medical personnel, who work in Texas Medical Center hospitals. This move will allow hospital staff to live nearby and give them a greater opportunity for rest and work needed hours.
The university designated two residential colleges, Wiess and Hanszen, located close to Main Street near the TMC. This move will require about 50 students and residents to relocate to other residential areas.
4:30 p.m. — HCSO confirms 2 more employees tested positive coronavirus
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office reported two new employees, a Courts Division deputy and a detention sergeant, tested positive COVID-19, bringing the agency’s total to 18. Both employees are assigned to work within inmates in the Harris County Jail.
The detention sergeant is a female in her 40s, assigned to work in the 1200 Baker Street jail facility, where seven employees have tested positive. The second employee is a female in her early 30s.
At this time, three inmates in the Harris County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19. An additional 33 inmates are in quarantine with symptoms indicative of the virus and are awaiting test results.
3:30 p.m. — Galena Park orders curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily
The city of Galena Park declared a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. It will be unlawful to be on the public streets, sidewalks, or any public places. The only exception is for those going to and from work or for emergency purposes.
Galena Park also announced no more than five people shall be allowed to be in any building open to the public for any purpose other than persons necessary to provide essential services to the public.
All open establishments open to the public shall enforce social distancing rules for each person, meaning that persons must be at least six feet from each other at all times.
Establishments are also directed to provide hand sanitizing and cleaning of carts, baskets and surfaces expected to be touched by the public.
2:00 p.m. — Houston parks will take down volleyball nets amid coronavirus crisis
In a news briefing Sunday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city’s parks would begin taking down volleyball nets Monday to encourage social distancing in amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Turner also added he has redirected more of the city’s employees to monitor parks and ensure visitors are engaging in social distancing.
12:15 p.m. — Brazos County reports 6th coronavirus-related death and 19 more positive cases
Officials with the Brazos County Health District reported Sunday the county’s sixth coronavirus-related death. The resident was a male in his 80’s who was hospitalized. Officials did not release any more information related to the death.
Officials also confirmed 19 more positive cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the county’s total to 94.
12:00 p.m. — Houston City officials name Thursday a Day of Prayer amid COVID-19 crisis
Houston City officials named Thursday, April 9 a Day of Pray.
Mayor Sylvester Turner asked Houstonians, wherever they may be, to collectively stop and observe a moment of silence or say a prayer at noon on Thursday.
“Wherever you are at noon, say a prayer for our city, and our country, say a prayer for your family or just pause for a moment of silent meditation,” Turner said in a news briefing Sunday.
10:30 a.m. — Mayor Sylvester Turner provides update on city’s coronavirus response
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will tour several local churches and hold a news briefing with a local faith leader Sunday morning. During the briefing, he will provide an update on the city’s coronavirus response.
9 a.m. — State Rep. Gene Wu hosts drive-thru mask giveaway for healthcare workers, seniors, those with chronic health conditions
State Representative Gene Wu, who serves District 137, is hosting a drive-thru mask giveaway Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The drive is focused on getting makss into the hands of healthcare workers, seniors and those suffering from chronic health conditions. The drive being held at . at Sharpstown Park, located at 6855 Harbortown Drive.
Saturday, April 4
10:15 p.m. — Calhoun County confirms 11 new COVID-19 cases
Calhoun County Texas Emergency Management is reporting 11 positive coronavirus cases throughout the county.
Both patients are residents of Calhoun County and are at home self-isolating. One case is related to travel and the other attributed to community spread.
Individuals, who visited the Walmart Supercenter at 400 Tiny Browning Blvd. in Port Lavaca on March 30 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., may have been exposed.
4:50 p.m. — Asiatown donates 10,000 medical masks to frontline workers
The International Management District, which oversees the Asiatown business community, announced the donation of 10,000 medical masks to Houston frontline workers.
The contribution was sparked after Mayor Sylvester Turner requested additional personal protection equipment for city and healthcare professionals. The district allocated funds through its coronavirus task force.
2:45 p.m. — Montgomery County confirms 1 inmate tested positive for coronavirus
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office announced a female inmate tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. The woman in her 20s was booked in the Montgomery County Jail in late October.
The inmate, who was pregnant, was transported to a local hospital on Tuesday. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl Wednesday. During the delivery, a medical professional noted an elevated temperature.
As a precaution, the inmate was placed in isolation and tested for coronavirus. The woman is in stable condition at a local hospital.
Doctors are running tests on the child, but at the time of the release, results were not available.
Six jail employees, who had contact with the inmate, were sent home to self-quarantine. None of them were displaying symptoms at the time.
Officials are working to identify additional employees who may have had close contact with the diagnosed inmate. Those employees will be required to take necessary precautions.
Effective immediately, all Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office jail staff and inmates will be required to wear masks.
Officials said they will continue to screen all inmates, employees and visitors to the jail for temperature and symptoms before entering the prison. New arriving inmates are still being quarantined for 14 days before they are placed in general population housing.
2:30 p.m. -- Houston Food Bank seeking volunteers to help amid COVID-19 pandemic
During a news briefing with Mayor Sylvester Turner, officials with the Houston Food Bank called for volunteers to help the organization.
Officials said the organization was following CDC recommendations to keep its volunteers,visitors and staff safe. All volunteers and staff practice safe social distancing and receive temperature checks to ensure they do not have fever. For more information on how to volunteer with the Houston Food Bank, visit https://www.houstonfoodbank.org/.
1:50 p.m. -- Houston reports another coronavirus death, 103 new cases
Houston reported another coronavirus-related death Saturday and 103 new cases of the illness.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the latest person killed by COVID-19 was a man in his 60s who had underlying medical conditions.
Turner said this most recent death brings the city’s fatality total to 9. The regional total is now at 27.
The additional cases of the virus bring the city’s total number of cases to 690. The Houston-area total is now at 2,135.
You can read more about all of the cases here.
12:33 p.m. -- Houston mayor provides coronavirus update
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is scheduled to provide an update on the city’s response to the coronavirus Saturday afternoon.
Turner has scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. during a tour of the Houston Food Bank.
Click2Houston.com plans to offer a livestream of the event when it begins.
Friday, April 3
6:00 p.m. -- Gov. Greg Abbott says NRG Stadium could serve as a care facility
NRG Stadium could be set to serve as a care facility if needed in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In a press conference Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott alluded to the possibility when talking about the emergency care facilities popping up around the country, as hospitals are overflowing.
“We have one up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area called FMS, Federal Medical Station, 250 beds in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center," said Abbott. “There’s actually similarly about that same number of beds set up in the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, and then Houston will be setting one up in NRG.”
Abbott did not specify whether he meant NRG Stadium or NRG Arena.
5:30 p.m. -- Galveston County confirms 83 residents and employees at a Texas City senior living facility have tested positive for coronavirus.
Galveston County health officials announced that there are 83 residents and employees of a Texas City senior living facility who have tested positive for coronavirus Friday, which is up from 13 reported Thursday at the same facility.
Health officials tested 146 residents and employees for COVID-19 at The Resort at Texas City after 13 residents and employees previously tested positive for the virus. Some results are still pending, officials said.
3:30 p.m. -- Houston reports 81 new coronavirus and 2 new deaths, bringing the city’s total to 587.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed 81 new coronavirus cases, bringing the city’s total of 587. The city also announced two new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the city’s total to 8.
Dr. David Persse, of the Houston Health Department, said a man in his 40s with underlying health conditions died on March 27 and a woman in her 60s with underlying health conditions died on April 1.
Both patients died before their coronavirus testing results were returned, Persse said. Recently, their testing results came back positive for COVID-19, and officials confirmed that the patients died from coronavirus-related complications.
Turner also announced that any city employees that test positive for coronavirus, the city will consider the contraction of the illness, work-related, as concerned with workers compensation benefits.
Thursday, April 2
7:15 p.m. -- Harris County reports two new coronavirus deaths
Harris County announced that two more people have died from coronavirus Thursday. This brings the county total to four and the area total to 22.
“The first death is a woman, between the ages of 80-90 years old, who lived in the southwest quadrant of Harris County,” officials wrote. “Additionally, a man, between the ages of 50-60 years old, who lived in the southwest quadrant of Harris County, died today and tested positive for COVID-19. Both individuals had underlying health issues, no history of travel or no known exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case, therefore, are considered community spread.”
7:05 p.m. -- Two more inmates at Harris County Jail test positive for coronavirus
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announced two more inmates at the Harris County Jail tested positive bringing the jail total to three. Gonzalez said 30 more inmates were awaiting coronavirus test results and 800 inmates were self quarantined as a precaution.
There are about 8,000 inmates in Harris County Jail. Earlier in the week, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced she signed an order to release about 1,000 inmates facing non-violent charges amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
3 p.m. -- Mayor Sylvester Turner gives update on city’s efforts in the fight against the coronavirus
Mayor Sylvester Turner was joined by the Houston Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management to discuss the city of Houston’s continued response to the coronavirus.
Turner announced the city of Houston reports 48 confirmed cases, bringing the city’s total to 506. He also said there were two more coronavirus related deaths that were 24 hours apart, bringing to city’s death total to six.
Turner also thanked Camden apartments for its effort in helping its residents who are financially struggling during the pandemic by granting them $2,000 each.
During the press conference, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said 17 members tested positive for the coronavirus and two of his officers were hospitalized, one being put on a ventilator Wednesday night. Acevedo asks for the public to continue praying for the department. He said said a second officer is back at work after recovering from the virus.
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said 173 firefighters are quarantined, 49 firefighters have been tested for the coronavirus and 12 tested positive. Pena said two have recovered. He said this quarantine puts a strain on the department because of short staff.
Turner also ask for more help on providing or donating more PPE and masks to testing medical facilities.
12:41 p.m. -- Space Center Houston announces it is closed until further notice
Space Center Houston announced Thursday that due to city, state and federal guidelines, it will remain closed to the general public until further notice.
According to a Space Center representative, the facility is working to enhance virtual learning experiences and will be announcing new experiences the public can be part of.
The Space Center released a statement that said in part, “Our goal is to continue to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration and to do our part to keep our community connected during this difficult time.”
For more updates, you can go to Spacecenter.org.
11:07 a.m. -- UMMC opens 3rd drive-thru coronavirus testing site in northeast Houston
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Houston) announced Thursday the opening of another drive-thru coronavirus testing site in Harris County – the third such site she has opened in the Houston area.
The newest site at Forest Brook Middle School in northeast Houston is in addition to a site at 510 West Tidwell and at the Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land.
The sites are being run by the United Memorial Medical Center.
“We have done this to save lives,” Jackson-Lee said.
She said the choice of Forest Brook Medical School as a site was because census data indicated a high number of senior citizens who live in the area.
The congresswoman said the sites she has worked to open are meant to compliment the city- and county-backed testing sites that have also opened in recent days.
About 3,000 people have been tested since the first UMMC testing site opened, officials said. About 9% of those tests have come back positive, officials said.
People with symptoms are allowed to go to the testing sites, where they will be screened before being tested.
9:47 a.m. -- Officials discuss new drive-thru coronavirus testing site in Harris County
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) is holding a news conference Thursday morning to discuss the opening of another drive-thru coronavirus testing site.
The news conference is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
Click2Houston.com plans to offer a livestream of the event.
Wednesday, April 1
10:00 p.m. -- 14 more HFD firefighter asked to quarantined
8:24 p.m. -- Cypress postal worker tests positive for coronavirus
A postal worker with the Cypress Post Office tested positive for coronavirus, the U.S. Postal Service announced in an email.
“We are in the process of reaching out to the local public health office and will follow the guidance they provide,” USPS wrote. “We believe the risk is low for employees who work at the Cypress Post Office, but we will keep our employees apprised as new information and guidance becomes available.”
9:30 p.m. -- Fort Bend County extends stay home order
After seeking feedback from Fort Bend County residents, Judge K.P. George announced Wednesday night that he is extending the county's stay home order through the end of April.
This announcement came a day after both Harris and Montgomery counties made similar announcements.
#BREAKING: With your feedback, I have extended the #COVID19 "Stay Home to Save Lives" Order until the end of April. I've included as much of your input as possible because the community, science, & data will guide all of my major decisions.— County Judge KP George (@JudgeKPGeorge) April 2, 2020
Order: https://t.co/RPtXoKfX8D pic.twitter.com/hL03c4FkG8
5:50 p.m. -- Brazos County announces 10th case at senior living facility
Brazos County officials said there is a tenth person who tested positive for coronavirus at a College Station senior living facility.
3:10 p.m. -- Montgomery County announces first two deaths
County health officials announced Wednesday that two men, who were residents of The Conservatory at Alden Bridge, have passed away. According to a news release, one of these men was in his 90s and the other man was in his 80s.
A shelter-in-place for the senior living facility in the Woodland was issued on Monday after 12 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed.
2:06 p.m. -- Second youth at Harris County Juvenile Detention Center has tested positive for COVID-19
Harris County Juvenile Detention Center reported a second youth has tested positive for the coronavirus and was placed in medical isolation at the facility. Officials said the youth’s parents was notified as well as the parents and guardians of other children on the unit that may have been exposed to the virus.
Officials said staff who may have had direct contact with the patient at Harris County Juvenile Probation Department were also notified.
On March 29, the youth told officials that they did not feel well and the HCJPD’s medical staff immediately isolated the youth and performed an initial screening that required a coronavirus test. The test results were received on March 31 and the youth is in JDC receiving medical treatment.
12:33 p.m. -- Houston opens second drive-thru coronavirus testing site
Houston officials opened the city’s second drive-thru coronavirus testing site Wednesday.
The site is not open to walk-ups. People must be screened and given a unique ID number before they are directed to the site.
Officials have asked the media to refrain from publishing the locations since walk-ups are not allowed.
To begin the screening process, call 832-393-4220.
12:18 p.m. -- Houston mayor provides coronavirus update
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and other city officials gave an update on the city’s coronavirus response efforts during a news conference Wednesday.
During the update, Turner said the City Council had decided to take $5 million from the economic stabilization fund and set up a fund specifically for anything related to the new coronavirus.
Turner also announces that the city has leased two hotels – and is working on leasing a third – that will serve as quarantine spaces for firefighters, police, municipal workers and the homeless population.
9:53 a.m. -- Cleveland officials say employee has coronavirus
An employee of the city of Cleveland has contracted coronavirus.
According to a news release issued Wednesday morning, the employee is experiencing mild symptoms and is being isolated at home.
“Please know that the City continues work behind the scenes for the community, while being mindful of the safety of our employees,” officials wrote in the news release. “All City departments will continue to operate and provide services throughout this crisis.”
Residents can call City Hall at 281-592-2667 if they have questions or concerns, officials said.
Tuesday, March 31
8:20 p.m. — Matagorda County reports second coronavirus-related death
“It is with great sadness that MCHD officials report that a man between the ages of 70 and 75 passed away at Matagorda Regional Medical Center with symptoms consistent with COVID-19,” Matagorda County officials wrote on Facebook. “This is the second confirmed COVID-19 related death in Matagorda County.”
7:30 p.m. — Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee announces third testing site
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee announced the launch of a third coronavirus testing facility in conjunction with the United Memorial Medical Center.
The drive-thru site will be at Forest Brook Middle School located at 7525 Tidwell Road. Testing will begin at the facility on Thursday, April 2 at 10 a.m.
4:15 p.m. — 9 residents of a College Station assisted living facility test positive
"The Brazos County Health District is aware residents at The Waterford at College Station assisted living facility have tested positive for COVID-19," the county wrote in a statement. "This is a devastating situation, and we have been and will continue to be in close collaboration with the facility’s administration to provide education and guidance moving forward."
In an email to KPRC 2, a PR company for the facility said that a total of nine residents of the facility had tested positive for the virus.
Before the positive test results, the facility was already following guidelines set by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.
“In response to this situation, COVID-19 testing was recommended for all residents and staff and has been implemented as testing supplies have allowed,” county officials wrote.
4 p.m. — Harris County, Houston, Montgomery County extend stay home orders
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo extended the week-long “Stay Home, Work Safe” order to continue till 11:59 p.m. on April 30, she announced in a press conference Tuesday. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner joined Hidalgo during the press conference. Both said if things change, they will lift the order, but health officials have been unanimous in advising the extended order. Read more here.
Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough also extended the “stay home” order for the county through April 30.
“With President Trump extending his call for social distancing through the end of April and Governor Abbott issuing his Executive Order today which adopts the 16 critical infrastructure industries who are deemed essential closing all non-essential businesses, Montgomery County’s order is extended to match both the state and federal orders," the county announced in news release.
3:39 p.m. -- Houston reports its 4th coronavirus related death and more cases
The city of Houston reported its fourth coronavirus related death.
Officials said the patient, a man in his 70s with underlying health conditions, died March 27. Officials said the city’s three previous coronavirus deaths were elderly women who also had with underlying health conditions.
The department also announced 68 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 377.
12:47 p.m. -- Sugar Land police officer tests positive for coronavirus
A Sugar Land police officer has tested positive for coronavirus.
Doug Adolph, a spokesman for Sugar Land police, said Tuesday that the officer contracted the virus while traveling.
The officer is showing mild symptoms of COVID-19 and undergoing self-quarantine.
The total number of coronavirus cases in Fort Bend County stands at 138. Read more about the cases here.
12:22 p.m. – First two positive cases reported in Colorado County
The Colorado County Office of Emergency Management announced Tuesday that the first two positive cases of coronavirus in the county had been confirmed.
According to a Facebook update, one of the patients was a woman between the ages of 30 and 50 in the Columbus area.
These cases bring the Houston-area total to 1,071.
9:20 a.m. — Health Museum to host emergency blood drive through April 3
The health Museum in Houston is hosting an emergency blood drive from March 31 to April 3 in partnership with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. The drive is part of a dire blood shortage created by the coronavirus pandemic in the Houston-are.
"The emergency blood drive will take place daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. by appointment only, and all registrants will receive free passes to The Health Museum," officials wrote.
To make an appointment, visit http://www.giveblood.org/the-health-museum/.
7:15 a.m. -- Disinfectant distribution resumes today in Fort Bend County
Distribution of disinfectant resumes Tuesday in Fort Bend County.
The effort is being coordinated by the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.
People will be given one large bottle and one spray bottle per family between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon at 1521 Eugene Heimann Circle in Richmond.
Distribution was halted Monday as the effort was undergoing reorganization, officials said.
Monday, March 30
9:30 p.m. -- Harris County judge says officials could extend ‘stay home, work safe’ order Tuesday
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo made it clear Monday during a new conference that the “Stay Home, Work Safe” order issued last week will most likely be extended.
The current work order is set to expire on Friday, April 3 but Hidalgo said she expects to meet with officials, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, and make an announcement Tuesday.
6:21 p.m. -- Shelter-in-place ordered for retirement community in The Woodlands after 12 positive cases
Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough issued a shelter-in-place order Monday for a senior living facility in The Woodlands after there were 12 coronavirus cases confirmed there.
The order issued just after 6 p.m., goes into effect immediately, but residents have until 6 p.m. Tuesday to leave the facility, Conservatory at Alden Bridge. According to the order, if they leave to stay with family or friends, they must continue to self-quarantine and they will not be permitted to re-enter the property until April 13.
6:12 p.m. -- United Memorial Medical Center expands drive-thru testing facility at Smart Finacial Center in Sugar Land
Starting Tuesday, a new testing facility will be opened by the United Memorial Medical Center at the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land.
“Additionally, United Memorial Medical Center Tidwelllocation will launch their 46-bed COVID-19 Annex dedicated to the care of COVID-19patients,” officials wrote.
A mobile COVID-19 testing effort will also begin to reach seniors who are unable to leave their homes.
5:30 p.m. -- Fort Bend County investigates after 2 cases at Richmond State Supported Living Center
Fort Bend County health officials have launched an epidemiologic investigation at Richmond State Supported Living Center after two people tested positive at the facility.
Both patients are in their 60s and are currently hospitalized, officials wrote.
“The residents at the Richmond State Supported Living Center represent some of the most vulnerable members of our community," said Dr. Jacquelyn Minter. “We have received support from Texas Department of State Health Services in order to test and investigate all contacts to these cases.”
5:10 p.m. -- Houston-area coronavirus cases top 1,000
Since the first days of March, the Houston-area coronavirus cases have ballooned to more than 1,000, across multiple counties.
3:30 p.m. -- 12 Harris County Sheriff’s Office employees test positive
As of Monday afternoon, 12 Harris County Sheriff's Office employees have tested positive for coronavirus, officials announced.
Both of the newest positive cases are male deputies assigned to patrol– one in his late 20s and the other in his late 40s.
The deputy in his 40s last worked on duty on March 21. He is now quarantined at home. A sergeant in his early 30s, worked in the 1200 Baker Street jail facility. His last day on duty was March 22. He is now quarantined at home.
Previously reported cases include:
- A deputy in his late 40s
- A sergeant in his early 30s
- A sergeant in his early 70s
- A male deputy in his mid-50s
- A male deputy in his late 20s
- A female deputy in her late 20s
- A male deputy in his early 3 0s
- A male civilian clerk employee in his late 20s
- A male deputy in his late 60s
- A female deputy in her late 20s
1 p.m. -- Matagorda County officials give update on coronavirus outbreak
Officials with the Matagorda County Emergency Operation Center will hold a Facebook live Monday afternoon to give an update on the coronavirus update in the county.
According to the emergency center, there are currently 20 positive cases, 223 negative cases and 117 pending cases.
The first coronavirus-related death was in Matagorda. He was a man in his late 90s.
You can watch the news conference on their Facebook page:
1300 hours Matagorda County Covid19 updatePosted by Matagorda County Emergency Operation Center on Monday, March 30, 2020
11:30 a.m. -- Harris County Tax Office announces it is giving property owners a 3-month break in delinquent property tax payments
Harris County officials announced the Tax Office is providing a three-month extension of all 12-month delinquent property tax payment plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Due to our area’s current health crisis and resulting economic uncertainties, property owners who are currently on 12-month property tax payment plans will not have to make payments for three months,” said Ann Harris Bennett, the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar. “Unfortunately, state law mandates that the appropriate late fees must still be assessed. However, I hope this extension helps ease property owners’ burdens during this critical time.”
Property owners may call 713-274-8000, or send an email to email@example.com for additional information.
11:15 a.m. -- Brazoria County reports first coronavirus death
Officials in Brazoria County reported the county’s first coronavirus death Monday.
The victim was a 75- to 85-year-old woman who lived in the Pearland area, officials said.
This brings the number of COVID-19 deaths in the Greater Houston area to 9.
You can read more about all of the cases here.
10:06 a.m. -- Gov. Abbott issues new travel restrictions for people coming to Texas
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced new travel restrictions in an executive order for people coming to Texas. He also announced pop-up hospitals and that he was moving to “stop the release of dangerous felons” amid the outbreak. Read more here.
9:16 a.m. -- Eight League City employees test positive for COVID-19, officials say
Eight League City employees have tested positive for COVID-19 — seven from the fire administration and one from the League City Police Department, officials said. Officials said the fire administration employees are all from the fire marshal’s office along with the city’s fire chief whose office is in the same building. Officials said they are still awaiting results on several other employees whose office in the fire administration building is currently under quarantine.
The LCPD officer is a shift commander and the city has taken all precautions and steps to notify and quarantine any individuals who may have been in direct contact or are at risk of exposure with this individual officials said.
League City officials said they have also brought in a professional team for thorough cleaning and deep sanitization of offices, work stations, buildings, and vehicles.
Sunday, March 29
11:25 p.m. — METRO confirms 2 employees tested positive for coronavirus, cancels all park & rides except to the TMC
Two METRO employees have tested positive for coronavirus. The first employee works in the dispatch area and has no interaction with the public. The employee was last on the job on March 26.
The second employee is a bus operator and was last on the job on March 25.
The bus operator drove the 412 Greenlink Circulator route from 6 a.m. until 2:17 p.m. on the following days; March 9,10, 11,12, 13, 16, 17,18,19, 20 and 23. The operator also drove the 247 Fuqua Park & Ride from 6:18 a.m. to 9:17 a.m. on March 24 and 25.
Anyone riding those routes in the last 14 days should monitor themselves for possible symptoms. Contact your health care provider as soon as you develop any symptoms, and self-isolate to avoid possibly exposing others, including refraining from using public transportation.
METRO announced additional adjustments amid the spread of coronavirus. All park and rides routes, expect those serving the Texas Medical Center, are suspended.
The bus company also plans to intensify its cleaning schedule and bring in even more staff to disinfect buses at the transit center during midday. This move is in addition to the daily cleaning performed outside of service hours.
To view the service adjustment, visit here.
5:30 p.m. — Fort Bend County confirms 14 new positive cases, bringing the county’s total to 119.
Fort Bend Health reported 14 new positive cases of coronavirus, bringing the county’s total to 119.
The county confirmed nine people have recovered, while one resident died.
Check out the Fort Bend coronavirus tracker, here.
4:30 p.m. — Galveston County confirms 10 new positive cases, bringing the county’s total to 70.
Galveston County Health District reported 10 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the county’s total to 70.
Here is what we know about the new cases:
- A female in her 70s with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, exposed by community spread. She is hospitalized.
- A female in her 40s with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, exposed by community spread. She is self-quarantined.
- A male in his 40s with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, exposed by community spread. He is self-quarantined
- A female in her 40s who had contact with a known positive COVID-19 case. She is self-quarantined.
- A female in her 40s with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, exposed by community spread. She is self-quarantined.
- A male in his 30s who had contact with a known positive Galveston County COVID-19 case. He is self-quarantined.
- A female in her 30s who had contact with a known positive Harris County COVID-19 case. She is self-quarantined.
- A female in her 20s with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, exposed by community spread. She is self-quarantined.
- A female in her 30s with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, exposed by community spread. She is self-quarantined.
- A male in his 20s with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, exposed by community spread. He is self-quarantined.
3:55 p.m. — Harris County confirms 2nd coronavirus-related death
Harris County Public Health reported the second COVID-19 related death of a resident.
The woman, between 50 to 60 years old, lived in the northwest quadrant of Harris County. She had known exposure to a confirmed case and had underlying health issues. The woman was tested for coronavirus after her death. Health officials confirmed the primary cause of death as COVID-19.
Harris County has a total of 240 positive cases, including 34 patients that have recovered.
3:45 p.m. — Houston reports 54 new positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 286.
Houston Health Department confirmed 54 new positive coronavirus cases, bringing the city’s total to 286.
3:02 p.m. — Montgomery County confirms 2 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 65.
Montgomery County Public Health District confirmed two new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to 65.
The county also announced one new recovery.
1:33 p.m. — First Harris County Jail inmate tests positive for COVID-19, officials say
Officials with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sunday reported that a Harris County Jail inmate tested positive for COVID-19.
The inmate, a 39-year-old man, was booked into the jail on March 17 after being arrested by the Houston Police Department for a parole violation. The man was placed in quarantine on March 26 after jail medical staff conducting a standard health assessment detected an elevated temperature and a high pulse rate, officials said in a statement.
The man is in stable condition in the medical unit at the 1200 Baker Street jail facility.
There are about 30 other inmates in the Harris County Jail with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, officials said.
Some 500 inmates, who are not currently experiencing symptoms, were potentially exposed to the virus are in quarantine for observation.
As of Sunday, 5 inmate tests have come back negative.
“The Harris County Sheriff’s Office medical staff and detention staff are taking every possible precaution to manage the spread of COVID- 19 among our nearly 8,000 inmates,” said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. “Despite their heroic efforts, we know this insidious virus is nearly impossible to contain in a jail environment. I am in awe of the efforts of our team, and I remain especially concerned for the safety of those who show up for their shifts each day, knowing the risk to themselves and their families.”
11:45 a.m. — Brazos County reports 2nd coronavirus-related death along with 4 additional cases
Officials with the Brazos County Health District reported the county’s second coronavirus-related death Sunday.
The resident was a woman in her 90s who tested positive for COVID-19.
The report of her death comes less than a day after the county announced its first coronavirus-related death Saturday evening. The man was in his 80s and in hospice care.
On Sunday, Officials with the Brazos County Health District also confirmed 4 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 44.
Saturday, March 28
8:45 p.m. — Galveston Fire confirms 2 employees tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the department’s total to 3.
Galveston Fire Department reported two employees have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the department’s total to three.
The department tested 26 employees at one facility after another employee tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Of those returned, two individuals tested positive while 17 others tested negative. Seven others are pending.
The three employees, who tested positive, are self-quarantined.
8:30 p.m. — Houston Police Department confirms 3 new cases, bringing the department’s total to 10.
Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo reported three new officers tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the department’s total to 10.
He said one officer remains hospitalized while 220 officers are quarantined.
As of now here is the latest COVID-19 data on @houstonpolice:— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) March 29, 2020
We have a total of 10 officers positive for COVID1-19, of which 1 remains hospitalized.
Quarantine: 220 total
Sworn – 194
Tested (Total): 71
Sworn – 70 (10-Pos/
Civilian – 1
7:50 p.m. — Austin County confirms 1 new case, bringing the county’s total to 2.
Austin County confirms one new positive case for coronavirus, bringing the county’s total case to 2.
5:45 p.m. — Chambers County confirms 2 new cases, bringing the county’s total to 5.
Chambers County Public Health reports two new coronavirus cases, bringing the county’s total to five.
The male patient is between 65-75 years old and lives in Mid Chambers County. The female patient is between 20-30 years old and lives in West Chambers County. Neither case is travel related.
After today, new positive cases will be updated at 5 p.m. daily on the Chambers County Public Health COVID-19 Page.
5:20 p.m. — Fort Bend County confirms 4 new cases, bringing the county’s total to 105.
Fort Bend Health confirms four new coronavirus cases in the county and one new patient recovery. The county has 105 total cases, plus nine total recoveries.
Check out the Fort Bend County coronavirus tracker, here.
Today, we are reporting 4 additional cases of #COVID-19 in the county and 1 more recovery.— Health & Human Ser. (@FortBendHealth) March 28, 2020
The overall total is 105 cases, 9 recoveries, and 1 death.
The data is being shown in our COVID-19 Response Hub 👇https://t.co/54aUOvBmyt pic.twitter.com/vTYjsD1NbN
4:45 p.m. — Brazos County confirms 1st death and 9 new coronavirus cases, bringing the county’s total to 40.
Brazos County Health District confirmed nine positive coronavirus cases in the county, bringing the case total to 40.
The county also confirmed its first coronavirus-related death: a man in his 80s, who was in hospice care.
Find more information about the case breakdown, here.
4:30 p.m. — Galveston County confirms 11 new coronavirus cases, bringing the county’s total to 60.
Galveston County Health District announced 11 additional positive cases in Galveston County residents, bringing the county’s case total to 60. The county also confirmed one patient recovery.
Here is what we know about the new cases:
- A female in her 50s with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, believed community spread. She is self-quarantined.
- A male in his 30s with recent domestic and international travel. He is self-quarantined.
- A male in his 60s with recent international travel. He is self-quarantined.
- A male in his 50s who had contact with a known positive COVID-19 case. He is hospitalized.
- A female in her 20s with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, believed community spread. She is self-quarantined.
- A female age 10-20 with recent international travel. She is self-quarantined.
- A male age 10-20 with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, believed community spread. He is self-quarantined.
- A male in his 70s with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, believed community spread. He is self-quarantined.
- A male in his 30s who had contact with a known positive Galveston County COVID-19 case. He is self-quarantined.
- A female in her 40s who had contact with a known positive Galveston County COVID-19 case. She is self-quarantined.
- A male in his 60s with no recent travel or contact with a known positive COVID-19 case, believed community spread. He is hospitalized.
4:05 p.m. — Missouri City council member shares he tested positive for coronavirus
Jeffrey Boney, a Missouri City council member, shared on Facebook that he tested positive for COVID-19.
After experiencing coronavirus-related symptoms in March, Boney said he was tested for the coronavirus and the results came back positive Friday, March 27.
He said he is currently in the intensive care unit.
“I want to be extremely clear with you… I am in great spirits and I plan to overcome this temporary challenge. But, please know that this is a very serious epidemic and anyone is susceptible,” Boney wrote.
Here is Boney’s full Facebook post:
3:50 p.m. — Polk County confirm 1st coronavirus case in the county
Polk County Emergency Management confirms the first resident tested positive for coronavirus.
The Angelina County & Cities Health District is advising those directly exposed to self-quarantine and monitor themselves for flu-like symptoms.
Contact the Polk County Coronavirus Call Center at 936-630-8500, if you need information or are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
3:30 p.m. — Washington County confirm 6 total cases in the county
Washington County officials confirmed the county has six total cases.
2:55 pm. — Montgomery County confirms 16 new cases, bringing the county’s total to 63.
Montgomery County Public Health District confirmed 16 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to 63.
The county’s second positive patient, who was previously hospitalized in critical condition, has been released from the hospital, officials said. She is expected to make a full recovery at home.
As of right now, Montgomery County has 368 negative results and 169 pending tests.
1:40 p.m. — Houston officials announce 163 new confirmed cases, bringing city’s total to 232
The Houston Health Department announced Saturday 163 more confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing Houston’s total to 232. The jump in cases from 69 on Friday to 232 Saturday is a result of a batch of reports received from area medical providers, department officials said in a release.
1:15 p.m. — 3 new Houston Police Department officers tested positive, bringing the department's total to 7.
Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed Saturday three Houston Police officers tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the department’s total to 7.
Here is Houston’s full press conference from Saturday afternoon:
🔴WATCH LIVE: Mayor Sylvester Turner provides COVID-19 update.Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Saturday, March 28, 2020
1:00 p.m. — 2nd Houston resident with COVID-19 dies; Mayor expects number of confirmed cases to rise
A Houstonian with COVID-19 has died, Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a press conference Saturday. The patient was a woman in her 70s. Her identity has not been released.
Dr. David Persse, of the Houston Health Department, said the woman was hospitalized, and her test results came back positive the same day she passed.
Turner also said he expects the number of confirmed cases in Houston to rise from 69 to over 200.
11:40 a.m. — Brazoria County confirms 9 new cases of COVID-19, bringing county’s total to 61
The Brazoria County Health Department confirmed nine new cases of COVID-19 in the county Saturday, bringing the county’s total to 61.
11 a.m. — 190 HPD employees in quarantine; 4 officers test positive for the coronavirus
At present, the Houston Police Department has 190 employees in self-quarantine and four patrol officers who have tested positive for the virus. One of the officers who tested positive is currently hospitalized, according to the department.
9:50 a.m. — 1 HFD firefighter tests positive for new coronavirus; 70 others currently quarantined
At present, the Houston Fire Department has 71 firefighters total in quarantine and one positive COVID-19 case. 17 firefighters are currently quarantining in a hotel, said Sheldra Brighma, a public information officer with the Houston fire Department.
Friday, March 27
7:40 p.m. — Houston police officer with coronavirus hospitalized
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo announced that one of the four Houston police officers who tested positive for coronavirus has been hospitalized.
“Please pray for all impacted by this virus at HPD, and across the globe,” Acevedo tweeted.
7 p.m. — Montgomery County issues county-wide curfew
As part of the stay home order, Montgomery County has issued a county-wide curfew from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. The curfew will be in effect beginning overnight going into Saturday and will continue till April 12.
Only "essential" personnel, defined in the order, who need to travel within the county will be exempt from the curfew order.
People who need medical care are also exempt from the order.
4:50 p.m. — Two more Harris County Sheriff’s deputies tests positive for coronavirus
The Harris County Sheriff's Office announced two more deputies tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the department total to eight.
"One of the two most recent cases is a sergeant is in his early 70s, who works in patrol. His last day on duty was March 18. He is now quarantined at home," HCSO wrote in a press release. "The second recent case is a male deputy in his mid-50s and is a part-time employee assigned to the property room. His last day on duty was March 12. He is now quarantined at home."
All the other HCSO employees who tested positive were deputies, barring one civilian clerk.
4:45 p.m. — Texas Medical Center moves to no visitor policy
The Texas Medical Center announced a no-visitor policy, as part of its efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect patients, healthcare workers and staff.
"Pediatric hospitals and units will be generally exempted from these restrictions. Individual exceptions will be managed by each institution," hospital officials wrote in a release. "Compassionate exceptions will be reviewed for visitors 18 years of age and over for situations that include visiting a patient with a terminal condition, patients requiring a legal guardian, and for patients with disabilities. Hospitals also will consider exceptions for the NICU, maternity and postpartum units, and life-saving care."
3:28 p.m. -- Fort Bend County coronavirus death
Fort Bend County officials announced its first coronavirus related death. No details on the patient were provided.
2:27 p.m. -- Matagorda County confirms another positive coronavirus case
Matagorda County officials have confirmed one additional positive case of coronavirus in the county, bringing the county’s total cases to 10. The woman is between the ages 50 and 55 who us isolated at home. Officials said the case is not travel related.
2:07 p.m. -- Three Brazoria County residents hospitalized after coronavirus complications
Brazoria County officials announced Friday that three of the 39 people who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus have been hospitalized after starting in home isolation.
11:49 p.m. -- Montgomery County issues stay at home order
Montgomery County has issued a “Stay home, stop the spread” order. The order will go into effect tonight at 11:59 p.m. until April 12.
All residents will be ordered to stay a home except for essential activities. To see which business or activity is essential in the county, click here.
10:48 a.m. -- 3 more coronavirus cases reported in Brazos County
Three additional cases of coronavirus were reported Friday in Brazos County.
No details were provided about the cases.
This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the county to 31.
The total in the Greater Houston area is now at 464.
You can read more about the cases here.
6:10 a.m. -- U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher self-quarantined after being tested for coronavirus
U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Houston) said Thursday that she is self-quarantined after being tested for coronavirus.
Fletcher said in a written statement that she underwent the test after suffering from flu-like symptoms, including a fever of 101 degrees.
The congresswoman said she will continue to work from home while she awaits test results.
“Representing Texas’ Seventh Congressional District and making sure our community has the resources it needs to combat coronavirus together is my highest priority,” Fletcher said in the statement. “I will continue to work from home, as I have been, advocating for the needs of our community and working to solve problems with my colleagues in Congress and our partners here at home.”
Fletcher took office last year.
Thursday, March 26
7 p.m. — Legendary Houston rapper Scarface announces he tested positive for COVID-19
Houston-area rapper Scarface brought bad news to his fans Thursday. He has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The former Geto Boys member, whose real name is Brad Jordan, announced the news in an interview with fellow member Willie D on his YouTube channel, which sent a shockwave to fans tuning in. See the full interview here.
6 p.m. — Houston news anchor tests positive for coronavirus
KTRK’s anchor Chauncy Glover announced on his Facebook page that he tested positive for the coronavirus. Glover got tested after he said he woke up in the middle of the night in sweats and experiencing a tight feeling in his chest, fever and body aches.
“A week later, I got the call saying I tested positive for the Coronavirus. I’m now home recovering. Thankfully, I’m feeling better, and through the worst part. I’m so blessed. God was with me. He always is!” Glover posted on his Facebook page.
5:30 p.m. — Mayor Sylvester Turner announces the first coronavirus death in Houston
A woman in her 60s was announced as the first person to die of coronavirus in the Houston area. An autopsy revealed the woman had the virus, which officials said was traveled related. The woman’s death brings the area total deaths to three. Read more about the 18 deaths reported in Texas so far.
3 p.m. — Harris County officials gives update
WATCH LIVE: Harris County officials give update on coronavirus response. MORE: https://www.click2houston.com/health/2020/03/07/latest-follow-the-developments-of-the-coronavirus-cases-in-the-houston-area/Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Thursday, March 26, 2020
1 p.m. -- Brazos County reports 7 new coronavirus cases
Health officials in Brazos County reported seven new cases of coronavirus Thursday.
That brings the total number of cases in the county to 28.
The Houston-area total now stands at 379.
You can read more about all of the reported cases here.
12:45 p.m. -- Gov. Greg Abbott gives update on coronavirus pandemic in Texas
Gov. Gregg Abbott will hold a press conference addressing the state of Texas Thursday during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the state, which will expand the resources available to Texas and speed the state’s ability to robustly respond to the coronavirus.
Click2Houston.com will offer a livestream when the news conference begins at 2 p.m.
10:24 a.m. -- Memorial City Mall hosting 2 emergency blood drives
Memorial City Mall will host two emergency blood drives.
The first Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center drive is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, and the second is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Organizers said the drive is considered essential under the Harris County stay-home-work-safe order.
9:32 a.m. -- YMCA offering members options on memberships
The YMCA of Greater Houston said Thursday they are offering members options on their dues.
The non-profit said more than 3,500 workers have been furloughed because of the pandemic.
Dues will not be drafted until at least April 15, according to the non-profit.
The YMCA Cares team have been calling members to give them the following options regarding their dues:
- Keep membership dues as they are because of the other programs the Y is still operating (primarily child care for healthcare and first responders).
- Suspend dues payments until the Y can offer the services they most use.
- Cancel membership.
Other gyms have also been altering their policies to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
You can read more about those changes here.
6:20 a.m. – Polk County issues stay-home order
Officials in Polk County have issued a stay-home order as they work to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday and remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. April 3.
It’s very similar to the stay-home-work-safe order that began in Harris County on Wednesday.
The Polk County order requires everyone to stay home unless they are conducting essential activities or governmental functions. Only businesses that have been deemed essential are allowed to be open and restaurants are only allowed to provide take-out or delivery. Houses of worship must switch to online or telephone-based services. Public gatherings are prohibited. Social distancing is also required.
Click here to read the order.
Wednesday, March 25
9:50 p.m. — Chambers County confirms a new coronavirus case, bringing the county’s total to 2.
Chambers County Public Health confirms a new case of coronavirus. The female patient is between 40 to 50 years old and lives in west Chambers County. She is at home, isolated and in stable condition. This case was not traveled related.
9 p.m. — HISD cancels food distribution for Thursday and Friday
The Houston Independent School District announced that it is canceling food distribution for Thursday and Friday as coronavirus spread mitigation precautions intensify.
“The cancellation will remain in effect as the district re-evaluates its process for safely delivering this service to students and families,” school district officials wrote. “This is a difficult decision to make, but the safety of the community, staff, and volunteers is our top priority.”
6:39 p.m. — Fort Bend County announces first coronavirus testing center
Fort Bend County announced it is opening the first testing center in the county Thursday, in partnership with OakBend Medical Group.
To get tested, patients need to meet the following criteria:
- Patients must have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) AN D/OR have one of the following risk factors:
- Older than 65 years old
- People who have serious underlying health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease/asthma, HIV, immunocompromised)
- Healthcare workers with suspected exposure
For more information, please visit: https://www.fbchealth.org/testing-for-covid-19/
6:11 p.m. -- Liberty County confirms second case
Liberty County announced its second positive coronavirus case. The man is between 50 and 60 years old and experiencing mild symptoms as he is isolated at home. It is being investigated how and where he contracted the virus.
6 p.m. — Brazoria County issues Stay Safe At Home order
Brazoria County issued a Stay Safe At Home order that will go into effect at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 26. The order will remain in effect until April 3. Read more here.
5:05 p.m. — Texas Comptroller’s Office offers help to businesses struggling to pay tax
The Texas Comptroller’s Office announced it is offering help to businesses that are struggling to pay the full amount of sales tax they collected in February.
“For businesses that find themselves in this situation, our agency is offering assistance in the form of short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest,” the agency wrote on its website. “We ask that you contact our Enforcement Hotline at 800-252-8880 to learn about your options for remaining in compliance and avoiding interest and late fees on taxes due.”
5 p.m. -- Fort Bend County confirms 54 positive coronavirus cases
Fort Bend County confirmed 54 positive coronavirus cases and five those have recovered.
4 p.m. -- Harris County announces 40 new cases
The Harris County Public Health reported 40 new coronavirus cases, which brings the county’s total to 119 positive cases. Officials also confirmed 13 patients have recovered.
The Houston-area total now stands at 362.
You can read more about all of the reported cases here.
3:30 p.m. -- Brazoria County reports additional cases
The Brazoria County Health Department has reported five new coronavirus cases, bringing the total cases to 33 in the county.
3:30 p.m. — Lone Star College waives fees for classes moving online
Lone Star College announced it is waiving fees for courses that are moving online due to the coronavirus closures. They also announced that they are delaying a planned tuition increase to help students.
The waived-fee will also apply to the 8-week term, any remaining Next Start classes, Mini-Mester, Summer I and Summer II distance learning classes.
3:12 p.m. -- Additional cases in Montgomery County
Montgomery County has 31 positive coronavirus cases.
3:04 p.m. -- Washington County reports its first case
Washington County has one confirmed case of Wednesday. The Person is a male in his 40s. Officials believe this case to be community spread but are still investigating its origin.
3 p.m. -- Additional coronavirus cases reported in Houston
The Houston Health Department announced 11 new positive coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing the total to 66.
2:30 p.m. — Gov. Abbott takes action to expand Texas hospital capacity
Gov. Greg Abbott temporarily waived certain hospital licensing rules and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission has adopted an emergency rule to meet the need for additional hospital capacity as coronavirus hospitalizations grow.
“These actions allow for certain facilities that have pending licenses or facilities that have been closed for no more than 36 months to come online under existing hospital building licenses,” officials wrote in a press release. “These facilities will be administered and operated by hospitals with existing licenses. The waivers also remove certain mileage restrictions which will allow hospitals to operate additional facilities that are more than 30 miles away from the main licensed hospital.”
1:43 p.m. -- New coronavirus case reported in Matagorda County
A new case of coronavirus was reported Wednesday in Matagorda County.
This brings the total number of reported cases in the county to 9.
The Houston-area total now stands at 292.
You can read more about all of the reported cases here.
12:18 p.m. – New coronavirus cases reported in Brazos, Galveston counties
New cases of coronavirus were reported Wednesday in Brazoria and Galveston counties.
Five more cases were reported in Brazos County, bringing the county’s total to 21.
One more case was reported in Galveston County, bringing the county’s total to 22.
The total number of cases for the Greater Houston area now stands at 291.
You can read more about the new cases here.
12:09 p.m. — Houston Parks enacts new restrictions to help stop spread of virus
Closed Park Facilities
- The Memorial Park Tennis Center, Lee LeClear Tennis Center, and MacGregor Park Homer Ford Tennis Center (Note: neighborhood tennis courts will remain open).
- All Municipal Golf Courses operated by HPARD and their driving ranges, including Gus Wortham, Hermann, Melrose, Memorial, Sharpstown, and the First Tee at FM Law Park.
- All COH playgrounds, water playgrounds, skateparks, basketball courts, and outdoor exercise equipment.
- All Houston Parks and Recreation Department Community Centers remain closed, including fitness centers, the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, and the North Wayside Sports Center.
- All public, produced, permitted, and sponsored events are cancelled through April 30th. In addition, all private events, private leagues, and private gatherings of 10 or more people are cancelled through April 30th. Cancellation fees are waived and HPARD will provide credit/refunds for permitted events, private leagues, and reservations through April 30th.
- Department group-structured programs are cancelled until further notice.
- Dog parks remain open until further notice.
- Lake Houston Wilderness Park remains open, however, the Nature Center, cabins, and dining hall are closed. Visitors are urged to pack extra soap and hand sanitizer as a precaution. If you have been sick in the last two weeks, please stay home.
All City parks and trails remain open and available for use. For City of Houston COVID-19 information updates visit: https://houstonemergency.org/covid19.
11:21 a.m. – Houston leaders provide update on coronavirus response
Houston leaders are holding a news conference to discuss the city’s response to the coronavirus.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was addressing questions about the stay-home-work-safe order, as well.
Click2Houston.com is providing a livestream of the news conference in the video player at the top of this page.
Tuesday, March 24
7 p.m. — CHI St. Luke’s Health bans visitors at hospital, adds new restrictions
Effective at 11:59 p.m. on March 24, the CHI Texas Division will be rolling out a “highly restrictive visitation policy," in effect to protect patients, visitors, employees and physicians, the group wrote in a press release.
The following changes will remain in effect until further notice:
- No visitors will be allowed in the hospital.
- Exceptions will be managed by medical decision-makers in the areas of: end-of-life, pediatric, NICU, labor & delivery, and patients who need language services. However, under no circumstances are children under the age of 18 allowed in our facilities.
- Other exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
4:38 p.m. — Man jailed in Humble is state’s first inmate to test positive
The first case of coronavirus in Texas’ jail system was confirmed Tuesday.
According to a news release, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is treating a 37-year-old offender who has tested positive for the new coronavirus.
The inmate has been hospitalized at Hospital Galveston – where he is being treated -- for three days. He reported feeling shortness of breath and cough while in custody at the Lychner State Jail Atascocita.
2:25 p.m. – Abbott provides update on Texas current status during pandemic
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that as of Tuesday 715 Texans have tested positive for the coronavirus and there have been 11 deaths.
Abbott said more than 11,000 Texans have been tested and that number is expected to increase as more tests become available. He said Texas has also created a Strike Force to help distribute and to order more protective equipment for those testing or treating coronavirus patients.
Abbott said currently, 100,000 masks are being provided and the Strike Force will get an additional 100,000 masks a day. He said Texas should be getting more than a million masks a week.
For those who want to donate supplies or volunteer, such as active or retired doctors and nurses, to visit www.texas.gov, Abbott said.
Abbott also announced a new executive order for all all hospitals, excluding psychiatric hospitals, to submit daily reports on hospital bed capacity to DSHS who will then share this information with the CDC.
12:14 p.m. -- Houston-area coronavirus cases hit 200 mark
A new coronavirus case reported in Brazoria County on Tuesday has pushed the number of cases in the Houston area to 200.
The newest case was found in a 50- to 60-year-old woman in Lake Jackson. She is in stable condition and recovering in isolation at home.
This brings Brazoria County’s total number of coronavirus cases to 19.
You can read more about all of the cases here.
10:28 a.m. -- Houston firefighter tests positive for COVID-19, department says
A Houston firefighter has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently self-quarantined at home, the department said.
Officials said the firefighter began having symptoms within 24 hours after his shift on Tuesday, March 17 and follow-up testing showed he was positive for the virus.
The firefighter was not under current self-monitoring or quarantine with HFD, officials said. The department said twelve other firefighters who had contact with the individual at the station have been instructed to self-quarantine.
The Houston Health Department said they are working with the HFD to contact anyone else with whom the firefighter had contact. The station where the firefighter worked is being decontaminated, officials said.
7:55 a.m. -- Alief ISD employee tests positive for COVID-19, district says; MD Anderson suspends laboratory research after staff member tests positive for the virus
Alief ISD has been notified that a female in her 40‘s who works for Owens Intermediate School has been diagnosed as positive with COVID-19, the district said Tuesday.
The district said Owens Intermediate School continues to be deeply sanitized and although schools and offices have been closed since March 13 and remain closed at this time, all Alief ISD employees and students have been instructed to continue to follow CDC guidelines and recommendations and to continue to practice social distancing.
It has been determined that the end of the 14-day incubation period for anyone possibly exposed to the employee on campus is Thursday, March 26, the district said.
Alief ISD officials said they are continuing to monitor the situation and will provide additional information as needed.
MD Anderson leaders suspended laboratory research after a member of its research staff tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.
Officials said the staff member is being cared for by another health care institution in Houston.
According to MD Anderson, the individual worked in one of MD Anderson’s research labs, had no patient contact and is not involved in any clinical care activities.
All employees exposed to the staff member were contacted and are undergoing monitoring and self-quarantine, MD Anderson said.
5:21 a.m. — Houston-area Amazon worker tests positive for COVID-19, company confirms
A Houston-area Amazon worker who tested for COVID-19 is recovering in quarantine, the company said.
Officials said the individual, a member of the management team working from a location at 10 West Blvd. in Katy, is receiving medical care.
A spokesperson said the company is following all guidelines from local officials about the operation at the building and is taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of those at the building.
All Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay, the company said.
5:46 a.m. — Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Mayor Turner announce press conference regarding COVID-19 related announcement
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston mayor Sylvester Turner are holding a press conference regarding a COVID-19 related announcement Tuesday.
The press conference will take place at 8:15 a.m.
At a press conference Tuesday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said there is no shelter-in-place order for the county, but it is possible that one could be issued in the future.
Hidalgo said she was in conversations with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and judges from neighboring counties to determine whether such a measure would be executed should it be issued. She said officials are doing their “due diligence” before deciding whether such an order would be issued.
Monday, March 23
11:22 p.m. — Matagorda County announces two more cases of coronavirus
“The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has notified The Matagorda County Emergency Operations Center that one of our private physicians has two individuals that have tested positive for the COVID-19,” officials wrote. “One patient is a male and is between 55 and 65 years old and the second patient is also male between the ages of 18 and 25.”
Both patients are self-quarantining at home and are in stable condition.
9 p.m. — Houston Mayor, Harris County Judge to make announcement Tuesday morning
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo will hold a press conference at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday to make a “COVID-19 related announcement.”
While they said other health officials will also speak at the press conference, officials didn’t detail what the announcement might be.
6:40 p.m. — Galveston County issued stay-at-home order
Galveston County has become the first county in the Houston area to issue a “stay-at-home order," Monday evening.
County Judge Mark Henry issued the order to ensure people only go out for necessary reasons such as work, physician visits, grocery shopping or to pick up meals.
The city of Santa Fe announced the order prematurely. The county is expected to release the official order Monday evening. Read more here.
6:30 p.m. — Landry’s to offer free meals to employees
6:21 p.m. — 3 HPD officers test positive
Three Houston police officers have tested positive for coronavirus, according to HPD Chief Art Acevedo.
All three are patrol officers and are in quarantine. Acevedo told KPRC 2 it is believed all three officers came into contact with an infected person on the job.
All officers and staff who came in contact with the three positive officers have been placed on quarantine.
"As part of our protocol that we put into place, the officers when they thought they were exposed they were actually sent directly home,” Acevedo said.
A total of 190 employees of HPD, including officers and civilians, have been asked to self-quarantine, mostly because of their recent travels.
The three officers with coronavirus are “doing well,” Acevedo said.
“The department is functioning on eight cylinders and I’m happy to say, thanks to the people of Houston, our call volume is flat. We’ve seen any major increases,” Acevedo said.
5:32 p.m. — Substance abuse counselor who visited inmates at Richmond prison tests positive
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced Monday that a contract employee of Management and Training Corporation tested positive for coronavirus.
The employee, a substance abuse counselor, passed all unit entry screenings and attended a training session with other employees on March 17. Officials said the employee had cell side counseling visits with a “limited number of restricted housing offenders at the Jester 1 Unit in Richmond.”
Officials said the employee went home early that day and visited a doctor who issued him a clear to work note. The employee returned to work on March 21 and saw more inmates in restrictive housing, officials said. The inmates were behind a door and had no physical contact with the employee, officials said.
The employee discovered he was tested for the coronavirus Sunday afternoon and was ordered to self-quarantine, officials said.
The TDCJ said it received the lab results Monday morning.
5 p.m. — Chambers County issues curfew for residents
Chambers County has issued a revision to its executive order to “more closely align” with Gov. Greg Abbott’s guidance.
According to a news release, the new ordinance will take effect Tuesday. See the curfew and business guidelines here.
4:15 p.m. — TSU announces staff member tests positive for coronavirus
“Earlier today, we learned that a member of the Texas Southern University community has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the first confirmed case within our university community,” officials wrote in a statement to members of the TSU community.
The staff member in question is currently hospitalized and is receiving treatment, officials wrote.
“In order to be compliant with the latest COVID-19 guidelines, we are asking our faculty and staff to not report to campus unless you have received approval from your supervisor,” officials wrote. “Instead, we are asking that employees stay at home and work remotely, based on direction from your supervisor.”
1:45 p.m. -- 10,000 masks donated to Houston by Asian Chamber of Commerce
The Asian Chamber of Commerce donated a large batch of medical supplies Monday to the city of Houston.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the donation included 10,000 masks, 40 gallons of sanitizer, gowns goggles, face shields, boot covers and gloves.
Dr. David Persse, of the Houston Health Department, said the equipment will first be distributed to the Fire Department, Police Department and Health Department. He said the donations will help restock items that have been used at a much faster rate in the past few days.
Turner said he understands more medical equipment is on the way.
1:21 p.m. -- Mayor says leaders ‘thinking through’ next steps of coronavirus response
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday he and other leaders across the region are “thinking through” the next steps of the area’s coronavirus response.
Turner said that while there is no shelter-in-place order in effect for Houston people should continue to practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible.
The mayor’s comments came a day after the judge of Dallas County ordered people in that county to stay home, saying he expects Harris County will do something similar “very soon.”
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Monday morning that no such order is in effect, but it’s not off the table.
Turner said he had some problems with the Dallas County order, which contained a “laundry list” of exceptions to the order. He said expects a decision on whether such an order would be issued for Houston within the next day.
12:47 p.m. -- Houston mayor provides coronavirus update
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has scheduled a news conference Monday afternoon to discuss the city’s response to the coronavirus.
During the 1 p.m. briefing, Turner will also accept a large donation of medical supplies from the Asian Chamber of Commerce and other individuals.
Click2Houston.com plans to offer a livestream of the event when it begins.
11:28 a.m. – New coronavirus cases reported in Brazoria, Galveston counties
New cases of coronavirus were reported in Brazoria and Galveston counties Monday morning.
Brazoria County officials reported two more cases while Galveston County officials reported five more.
This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases to 16 in Brazoria County and 17 in Galveston County.
The total number of cases reported in the Greater Houston area is at 173.
10:04 a.m. – No Harris County shelter-in-place for now; 2 new testing sites open
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said there is no shelter-in-place order for the county for now, but it is possible that one could be issued in the future.
Hidalgo said she is in conversations with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and judges from neighboring counties to determine how such a measure would be executed should it be issued. She said officials are doing their “due diligence.”
The judge also announced that two new drive-thru testing sites have been opened in Harris County to test people who have been prescreened for coronavirus before being sent to the sites. These sites are not open for walk-up testing, Hidalgo said.
For prescreening, people can go to ReadyHarris.org or call 832-927-7575. If testing is needed, the person will be given a unique ID number and directions to a testing site.
Hidalgo said she is working to integrate the Harris County testing sites with the city of Houston site that was open last week.
9:18 a.m. – Harris County judge to provide update on coronavirus response
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has scheduled a 9:30 a.m. Monday news conference to discuss the county’s response to the coronavirus.
A topic that she is sure to be asked about is the statement made Sunday by the judge of Dallas County while he was issuing a shelter-in-place order for that county. He indicated that Harris County is expected to do something similar “very soon.”
Click2Houston.com will offer a livestream of Hidalgo’s news conference when it begins.
7:26 a.m. -- 8 more coronavirus recoveries reported in Harris County
Eight more people in Harris County who had contracted coronavirus have recovered from their illness, according to data provided Monday morning by Harris County Public Health.
This brings the total number of recoveries in the county to 11.
A total of 51 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Harris County, including a nursing home resident who died from the virus.
More than 160 coronavirus cases have been reported in the Greater Houston area. Read more about all of the cases in the region here.
Sunday, March 22
8:30 p.m. — Walker County is reporting the first case of coronavirus
Walker County announces its first case of coronavirus.
The patient is a male, in his 20s, and the source of the exposure is still under investigation. He was tested outside of Walker County. He is experiencing mild symptoms and has been isolated at home.
8:15 p.m. — Brazos County confirms 2 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 12.
As of 3.22.20, there have been 2 additional positive cases of COVID-19 reported to the Brazos County Health District. This brings the total number of positive cases in Brazos County to 12.— BrazosCo Health District (@BrazosCoHD) March 22, 2020
6:45 p.m. — Congressman Al Green distributes N95 masks to Houston healthcare workers and requests more
Congressman Al Green distributed 8,000 of high-demand N95 masks to Houston health officials. Green also made a plea to the public to secure additional masks.
He said many industries, such as dentistry, construction and education, may have N95 masks in stock. He urged the public to check to see if there are any unused masks in their possession that could be given to healthcare workers.
If anyone has any N95 masks, Green requests them to contact his office at 713-383-9234.
“This is an opportunity for all of us to pitch in and do our part to help this country recover,” Green said during a press conference Sunday.
4:30 p.m. — Katy ISD providing thousands of free meals to children
Katy ISD served more than 33,000 free meals, both breakfast and lunch, to families in the Katy area last week. For this upcoming week, the district will move one distribution site and add a new school. Katy ISD will also provide a hot entree for the lunch meal, beginning Tuesday. The distribution will remain grab-and-go curbside.
All Katy-area children, up to 18 years old, can receive the meals. Children do not need to be enrolled in Katy ISD.
“During this closure we want students to continue receiving their meals as well as the nutrients they need to stay healthy,” said Katy ISD Executive Director of Nutrition and Food Services, Donna Pittenger.
The meals are served at the campuses from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday and Friday.
Meal ‘Grab and Go’ Locations:
- Bear Creek Elementary: 4815 Hickory Downs Dr, Houston, TX 77084
- Golbow Elementary: 3535 Lakes of Bridgewater Dr, Katy, TX 77449
- Hutsell Elementary: 5360 Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77493
- Mayde Creek Elementary: 2698 Greenhouse Rd, Houston, TX 77084
- Memorial Parkway Elementary: 21603 Park Tree Ln, Katy, TX 77450
- Paetow High School*: 23111 Stockdick School Road, Katy, TX 77493
- Schmalz Elementary*: 18605 Green Land Way, Houston, TX 77084
- Sundown Elementary: 20100 Saums Rd, Katy, TX 77449
- West Memorial Elementary: 22605 Provincial Blvd, Katy, TX 77450
- Williams Elementary: 3900 S. Peek Rd, Katy, TX 77450
- Tompkins High School: 4400 Falcon Landing Blvd, Katy, TX 77494
*Beginning Monday, curbside meal service will move from Bethke Elementary to Paetow High School. On Wednesday, Schmalz Elementary will begin distributing “grab and go” meals.
4:15 p.m. — Harris County confirms 5 new positive coronavirus cases, bringing the county’s count total to 51.
Harris County Public Health announced five new COVID-19 cases.
Here is a breakdown of the new cases:
- A 30- to 39-year-old woman, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris Count, exposed through community spread.
- A 50- to 59-year-old man, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed by contact with a positive COVID-19 individual.
- A 40- to 49-year-old man, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through community spread.
- A 20- to 29-year-old man, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through community spread.
- A 40 to 49-year-old man, who lives in the southwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through community spread.
4:06 p.m. — Galveston County confirms 1 new case, bringing the county’s total to 12
Galveston County Health District announced a new case, bringing the county’s case total to 12.
A female Galveston County resident in her 40s, who recently traveled internationally and had contact with a positive coronavirus patient. She visited an area clinic and is currently self-quarantined.
3:15 p.m. — Montgomery County confirms 2 more cases, bringing the county’s total to 15
The Montgomery County Public Health announced two new coronavirus cases, bringing the county’s total to 15.
One case is a woman in her 40s, who lives in southwest Montgomery County. She is connected to a case in Smith County, where she recently traveled. She is at home in isolation.
The second case is a man in his 40s, who has been in northeast Montgomery County for work-related purposes. He is at home in isolation. His only recent travel is to Houston.
3:06 p.m. — Houston confirms new coronavirus case, bringing city’s total to 23
Officials with Houston’s Health Department confirmed a new case of coronavirus Sunday afternoon, bringing Houston’s total to 23 cases. The case is a male in the 30 to 40 range who recently traveled to Idaho and is recovering at home, officials said in a tweet.
2:10 p.m. — Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office temporarily suspends sanitizer distribution due to ‘unforeseen demand’
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office temporarily suspended its sanitizer distribution due to “unforseen demand,” officials said in a Tweet. Officials said they should have sanitizer back in stock tomorrow.
1:20 p.m. — City of Houston provides quarantine accommodations for 4 firefighters
The City of Houston announced it is providing quarantine accommodations for four Houston firefighters who were exposed to COVID-19 and were not able to quarantine at home.
“The safety of our firefighters and their families is my primary concern," Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said. “I personally secured a location for quarantine on behalf of the City. Health care professionals will actively monitor these four firefighters according to CDC guidelines until they are released back to work.”
The firefighters will be monitored daily for 14 days. If they do not develop symptoms, the firefighters will return to regular duty. At this time, none of the quarantined firefighters have displayed symptoms associated with COVID-19, according to a release from the city.
11:30 a.m. — At least 9 Houston firefighters under quarantine after potential exposure to COVID-19, union says
At least nine Houston firefighters are in quarantine after possible exposure to COVID-19, an official with the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association said.
About 200 firefighters with the Houston Fire Department have reported possible exposure to the new coronavirus, according to union officials. Investigations are underway to determine how and when the firefighters may have been exposed to the virus.
*This post has been updated to reflect that there are at least 9 HFD firefighters in quarantine.
11:10 a.m. — Galveston County confirms 3 more COVID-19 cases, bringing county’s total to 11
Galveston County health officials confirmed Sunday three more cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to 11.
One individual is a man in his 70s who recently traveled domestically. He presented to an area clinic and is currently in self-quarantine.
The second individual is a woman in her 20s who has no history of travel or contact with another infected person. Officials said in a statement they believe this is a case of community spread. The woman is currently in self-quarantine..
The third new case is a woman in her 50s who also had no history of travel or contact with another infected person. Officials said in a statement that they believe this case is also a case of community spread. The woman is currently in self-quarantine.
Saturday, March 21
10 p.m. - Liberty County reports first case of COVID-19
Liberty County confirmed Saturday night its first case of COVID-19.
The case is a woman between 40 and 50 years old experiencing mild symptoms and isolating at home.
8:45 p.m. — Chambers County reports first positive coronavirus case
The Chambers County Public Health confirms its first positive coronavirus case.
The female patient is between 50-60 years old and lives in West Chambers County. She is at home, quarantined and in stable condition. Her case may be travel-related, officials said.
6:30 p.m. — Legacy Community tests nearly 300 people Friday
Legacy Community Health tested 296 people at four satellite clinics Friday, for a total of 610 people since Monday.
At this time, Legacy Community is only testing those experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms and have traveled recently domestically or internationally. They are also testing those who have had contact with anyone diagnosed with or suspected of having coronavirus.
- Legacy Fifth Ward, 3811 Lyons Avenue: 54
- Legacy Montrose, 1415 California St.: 148
- Legacy Southwest, 6441 High Star Drive: 84
- Legacy Central Beaumont, 450 North 11th St.: 10
6:10 p.m. — 2 Harris County Sheriff’s Office employees test positive, bringing the agency’s total to 4.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office confirmed two employees tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday, bringing the agency’s total to four.
A male deputy in his early 30s, who last reported for duty Thursday, is quarantined at home.
A male civilian clerk in his late 20s, who last reported for work on March 6, is being treated at a local hospital.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office previously reported two other confirmed cases: one male deputy in his late 60s and a female deputy in her late 20s.
There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the jail population, officials said.
5:49 p.m. — Houston free testing site expanding to symptomatic people with chronic illnesses
Houston’s first free coronavirus drive-thru testing site will expand services to people of any age with chronic illnesses Sunday. The person must be experiencing common coronavirus symptoms such as cough, difficulty breathing and fever.
People that meet the criteria must call the Houston Health Department’s COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to get screened. If approved, they will receive a unique identification code and instructions on where to go for testing.
Examples of chronic illnesses include heart disease, asthma, chronic lung disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS. Transplant recipients, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are also eligible for COVID-19 testing.
The site will only accept people with a unique identification code obtained through the screening process. People who show up without an identification code will not get tested.
Previously, only healthcare providers, first responders and people 65 and older with symptoms received COVID-19 testing at the site.
5:20 p.m. — Brazoria County confirms 3 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the county’s total to 14.
The Brazoria County Health Department confirmed three new cases of coronavirus. However, they are still investigating whether these cases are travel-related.
Here is the breakdown of those cases:
- A man, between the ages of 25-35 that resides in Angleton, is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation.
- A man, between the ages of 55-65 that resides in Clute, is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation.
- A man, between the ages of 20-30 that resides in Rosharon, is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation.
4:30 p.m. — Fort Bend County confirms 5 new coronavirus cases, bringing the county’s total to 29.
Fort Bend County Health & Human Services confirms five new coronavirus cases.
Here is the breakdown of those cases:
- A man in his 70s who was hospitalized, released and now recovering at home.
- A woman in her 20s, with moderate symptoms and history of travel to a high incidence area, is recovering in isolation at home.
- A man in his 50s with moderate symptoms is recovering at home.
- A woman in her 50s with moderate symptoms is recovering at home.
- A woman in her 20s with moderate symptoms is recovering at home.
4:24 p.m. — Grimes County confirms 1 new case, bringing the county’s total to 2.
Grimes County Office of Emergency Management confirmed 1 case, exposed through household contact with the first county resident. Officials said the couple made no contact with anyone else in the county. They traveled together in the same car from the same location to their house where they have been self-isolating ever since.
4:13 p.m. — Houston confirms 3 new coronavirus cases, bringing the city’s total to 22.
Houston Health Department confirms three new cases of coronavirus.
Here is the breakdown of those cases:
- A 60 to 70-year-old-woman with no known travel has been hospitalized.
- A 20 to 30-year-old man, who has traveled in Texas, is at home recovering.
- A 40 to 50-year-old man, who traveled to Costa Rica, is at home recovering.
3:50 p.m. — Harris County confirms 10 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 46.
Harris County Public Health confirmed 10 new cases of coronavirus.
Here is a breakdown of those cases:
- A 30 to 40-year-old man, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through a confirmed case.
- A 20 to 30-year-old woman, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through community spread.
- A 20 to 30-year-old man, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposure still pending investigation.
- A 30 to 40-year-old woman, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through to a confirmed case.
- A 0 to 10-year-old boy, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through a confirmed case.
- A 0 to 10-year-old girl, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through a confirmed case.
- A 10 to 20-year-old woman, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed to a confirmed case.
- A 40 to 50-year-old woman, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through travel
- A 50 to 60-year-old man, who lives in the Northeast quadrant of Harris County, exposure still pending investigation.
- A 50 to 60-year-old man, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through travel
2:56 p.m. — Montgomery County confirms 1 new case of coronavirus, bringing the county’s total to 13.
Montgomery County Public Health District confirmed one new case of coronavirus. The case involves a woman in her 30s, who resides in northwest Montgomery County. She is in isolation at home and has no recent travel history.
2:45 p.m. — Galveston County confirms 2 new cases of coronavirus, bringing to the county’s total to 8.
Galveston County Health District announced two residents tested positive for coronavirus. One case is a woman in her 30s, who recently traveled domestically. She visited a local urgent care facility and is currently self-quarantined. The second case involves a female in her 60s, who recently traveled domestically. She visited a local clinic and is self-quarantined.
1 p.m. — Wharton County confirms first case of coronavirus
Officials with the Wharton County Office of Emergency Management confirmed the county’s first case of coronavirus. The individual had been out of town and tested positive for COVID-19 after he returned to Wharton County.
1 p.m. — Brazoria County confirms 1 additional case of COVID-19, bringing county’s total to 11
Brazoria County announced Saturday afternoon one new case of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to 11.
The individual is a male, between the ages of 50-60. He resides in Pearland and is at home recovering in isolation. This case is not travel related, according to county officials.
12:40 p.m. — Brazos County confirms 4 more cases of COVID-19, bringing county’s total to 10
Officials with the Brazos County Health Department announced Saturday four additional positive cases of coronavirus, bringing the county’s total to 10 cases.
9 of the 10 cases are travel-related. Officials said the other case is not travel-related and is “believed to be community spread,” department officials stated in a tweet.
All the individuals are self-isolating at their homes.
12 p.m. — Whole Foods boosts employee pay, slashes hours of operation and offers special hours for customers 60 and older
Whole Foods announced a slew of changes as it works to support its employees while keeping its customers supplied with essentials during the COVID-19 pandemic. The supermarket chain will give its hourly employees a $2-an-hour pay bump, slash its operating hours and provide older customers a special shopping hour. Click here for details.
11 a.m. — Matagorda County confirms fourth positive case of coronavirus
Matagorda County Emergency Operations Center confirmed the county’s fourth positive case of coronavirus. The patient is a woman, between 75 and 85 years old, who had no travel outside of the county. She is at Matagorda Regional Medical Center in fair condition.
9 a.m. — Houston begins offering free drive-thru coronavirus testing for adults 65 and older Saturday
Beginning Saturday, a testing site in Houston will offer free coronavirus testing for adults 65 and older with symptoms.
Adults 65 and older with a cough, difficulty breathing, and fever can call the Houston Health Department COVID-19 call center at (832)393-4220 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for a screening. Those who are screened and meet the testing criteria will receive a unique identification code and instructions on where to go for testing.
The testing site will only accept those with a unique identification code provided through the screening process. Anyone who shows up without an identification code will be turned away and will not be tested, according to a release from the City of Houston. Click here for more information.
Friday, March 20
11 p.m. — Fort Bend County Judge closes gyms, salons
Fort Bend County officials announced that Judge KP George had amended the order to close local businesses, to include gyms, salons and other facilities. The new order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.
“Gyms, fitness centers and other facilities that are used or intended to be used for any type of training, martial arts or sports shall close,” officials tweeted. “Hair and nail salons, spas, massage and tattoo parlors, movie theaters, game rooms and bingo halls shall close. Access to Fort Bend County facilities shall be limited to the public.”
10:13 p.m. — Free Houston testing site that opened Thursday gets 7 positive results
Officials with United Memorial Medical Center in north Houston where a free coronavirus testing facility opened Thursday, announced Friday night that of the 105 completed test results they’d received back, seven had come back positive.
“We have contacted all of the appropriate officials and we have contacted these patients to inform them of their results and remind them of the importance of self-quarantine, as well as the need to inform their healthcare provider,” officials wrote. “Several hundred tests are currently undergoing microbiological testing.”
9 p.m. — Two Harris County Sheriff’s deputies test positive for coronavirus
The Harris County Sheriff's Office announced that two deputies, who don't work at the same location, tested positive for coronavirus. They are now in isolation in their homes, where their symptoms are being monitored, officials wrote.
"One of the deputies is a male in his late 60s, who recently traveled to New York and has not reported for duty since returning from his trip," officials wrote. "He last reported for duty on Wednesday, March 11. The other is a woman in her late 20s who last reported for duty on Monday, March 16."
Neither deputy works in the Harris County Jail, officials said.
"The Sheriff’s Office is working with Harris County Public Health to identify co-workers and members of the public who may have had contact with the two deputies so they can take necessary precautions, including a 14-day home quarantine," officials wrote. "Testing for the deputies’ co-workers is expected to begin as soon as Saturday."
It is unclear if these two deputies are residents of Harris County or if they are already reported in county totals.
8:55 p.m. — Montgomery County announces 2 new cases
Montgomery County reported two new cases bringing county total at 12. The two new cases are:
- A man in his 90s, who lives in southwest Montgomery County. He is currently hospitalized. He has no recent travel history
- A man in his 50s, who lives in southwest Montgomery County. His case is still under investigation.
6:45 p.m. Mayor Turner addresses ‘lock down’ rumors
“There is not going to be a lock-down, the city is not shutting down,” Mayor Turner announced during a Friday evening news conference. “There are only three people in the state of Texas who can make that decision, and that is the mayor, county judge, or governor. At this point, neither one has made the call. We are saying people should practice social distancing, wash their hands and use hand sanitizer.”
The mayor addressed false social media reports after a social media video went viral and robocall alarmed residents.
“The information shared in the social media post is false, and the mayor has called for an investigation into social media posts that are intentionally spreading misinformation about the City’s COVID-19 response,” officials wrote in a press release. “The Houston Police Department launched an investigation at Mayor Turner’s request.”
6:35 p.m. — Montgomery County develops online screening tool
Montgomery County health officials announced an online screening tool to help people determine their specific risk of COVID-19.
“It is a simple question-and-answer method of determining whether a person is low-to-no, medium or high risk. There are also considerations for special populations,” officials wrote in a release. “After a few simple questions, the tool will give a person specific step-by-step instructions on how to proceed whether you have symptoms or are asymptomatic.”
The tool also includes resources for the community like a COVID-19 hotline, mental health phone and text line and links to relevant, helpful websites.
6 p.m. — Brazoria County announces five new cases bringing total to 10.
Here is the information provided by Brazoria County health officials about the cases:
- A man, between the ages of 45-55 who lives in Pearland. He is isolated at home. Has a history of travel
- A man, between the ages of 40-50 who lives in Pearland and is now in self-isolation. Has a history of travel
- A man between the ages of 40-50 who lives in Pearland and is at home recovering in isolation. Has a history of travel
- A woman, between the ages of 65-75 who lives in Pearland and is at home recovering in isolation. Has a history of travel
- A man between the ages of 50-60 who lives in Alvin and is at home recovering in isolation. Has a history of travel
4:38 p.m. — Five new cases announced in Fort Bend County
Fort Bend County Health & Human Services reported five new cases of coronavirus, bringing the county total to 24.
The new cases are:
- A woman in her 20s with mild to moderate symptoms. She is recovering in isolation at home.
- A man in his 50s with mild to moderate symptoms. He is recovering in isolation at home.
- A man in his 60s who was hospitalized and discharged. He is now recovering in isolation at home.
- A woman in her 60s who is hospitalized.
- A woman in her 50s with mild to moderate symptoms. She is recovering in isolation at home.
4:17 p.m. — Harris County Constables to enforce order prohibiting bars, dining in restaurants
“In a show of collaboration, all eight Harris County Constable’s Offices have agreed to proactively begin responding to reports of unauthorized gatherings at local restaurants, bars and other establishments,” officials announced.
While officials say "the last thing we want to do is enforcement action," they can seek charges against business owners that are caught violating the order.
A charge they might face is “Violation of Emergency Management Plan COVID-19 Order” which is punishable by a fine of upto $1,000 and 180 days of jail time.
4:11 p.m. 8 new cases in Houston, 2 new cases in Brazos County tips Houston area cases over 100
The Houston health department announced eight new cases of coronavirus and Brazos County announced two more.
In Houston, the new cases are:
The cases are:
- Female | Age 50-60 | Travel to Kansas |Hospitalized
- Male | Age 40-50 | Travel to Georgia |Hospitalized
- Female | Age 60-70 | No known travel |Home Recovering
- Female | Age 60-70 | Travel to Spain | Home Recovering
- Male | Age 50-60 | Travel UK | Home Recovering
- Male | Age 40-50 | Travel to NY, NJ, PA | Home Recovering
- Male | Age 40-50 | Travel to Colorado | Home Recovering
- Male | 40-50 | Travel to Nevada | Home Recovering
In Brazos County, the new cases are:
- Man in 30s with no travel history
- Man in 20s who traveled to Mexico
3:55 p.m. — Harris County Sheriff restricts public access to substations
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announced that he was restricting public access to all substations as a way to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
“While you will be unable to obtain offense and accident reports in person, these services are available online,” he wrote.
More deputies were also assigned to take non-emergency crime reports by phone at 713-221-6000.
“We are also implementing safety measures in our jail to protect our staff and those who are entrusted in our care,” Gonzalez wrote. “Cleaning crews have increased the frequency of cleaning operations. All employees and volunteers entering the jail system are being checked for fever each time they enter the building.”
3:45 p.m. — Brazos County warns of coronavirus scammers
Brazos County warned residents that there were reports of people going door-to-door, claiming they were testing for COVID-19.
“Whether or not these reports are true, the Brazos County Health District encourages the public to vigilant about these types of scams,” officials wrote. “The BCHD is NOT offering testing at our main location or out in the public.”
3:20 p.m. — Montgomery County reports tenth case of coronavirus
A woman in her 50s is the tenth case of coronavirus in Montgomery County, officials announced. She is currently in isolation in her home and officials say she attended the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on March 8.
So far in Montgomery County, 10 people have tested positive, 98 people have tested negative and officials are still waiting on results for 127 tests.
2:11 p.m. – 2 new cases reported in Galveston County
Galveston County health officials reported two more coronavirus cases Friday.
Health officials said one case involved a man in his 40s who has recently traveled internationally. The other was found in a woman in her 50s who had come into contact with someone who had traveled to an area affected by coronavirus.
Both patients have been isolated at home.
This brings the Houston-area total to 91.
You can read more about all of the cases in the Greater Houston area here.
12:28 p.m. -- Houston opens first public coronavirus testing site; 3 more in the works
The first public coronavirus drive-thru testing site in the city of Houston opened Friday, and three more are being planned.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the first site, which is at Butler Stadium on South Main Street, is only open to health care workers and first responders on Friday. On Saturday, the site will be open to anyone 65 years old and older. On Sunday, the site will be open to anyone.
However, people who want to be tested at the site will have to go through a screening process before they can be tested. That process will take place online or over the phone. People who arrive without going through the screening process will not be tested, Turner said.
Read more about the testing sites here.
Officials said anyone who receives a positive test result, and is minimally ill, should isolate themselves at home. People who are seriously ill should call ahead to their doctor or a hospital and get advice before going to a medical facility, officials said.
12:10 p.m. – 9 new cases reported in Harris County
Nine new cases of coronavirus were reported in Harris County on Friday, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 33.
The patients range in age from 20 to 60 years old, according to Harris County health officials. Some are travel-related and others are connected to community spread, officials said.
The total number of cases in the Greater Houston area now stands at 89.
You can read more about all of the cases here.
11:45 a.m. – Mayor talks about coronavirus testing in Houston
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has scheduled a noon news conference to discuss coronavirus testing in the city.
Click2Houston.com plans to offer a livestream of the news conference when it begins.
10:56 a.m. – New coronavirus case reported in Brazoria County
A fifth case of coronavirus was reported in Brazoria County on Friday.
Health officials said the patient is a 40- to 50-year-old man who lives in the Rosharon area. The man is recovering at his home, officials said.
This brings the total number of coronavirus cases in the Greater Houston area to 80.
You can read more about all of the cases here.
10:23 a.m. – Houston leaders discuss coronavirus testing
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Joseph Varon, MD with the United Memorial Medical Center gave a news conference Friday to share findings from the first day of drive-thru testing at the UMMC facility on Tidwell in north Houston.
According to Lee, hundreds of people showed up to be tested and 99% of them received a COVID—19 test.
Of the people who showed up, 60% were women and 40% were men, Lee said. She also said 4% of the people who got tested were under 8 years old, 5% were between 10 and 18 years old, 18% were 19 to 27 years old, 24% were 28 to 36 years old and 21% were 37 to 45 years old.
Varon said that they were expecting more people over the age of 60 to get tested, but over 50% of the people were between the ages of 28 to 48.
Lee urged people over the age of 60 to get tested and for their family members to help get their elders tested.
“It is very important for senior citizens to be tested,” Lee said. “My plea is for senior citizens 65 and older to please come out to be tested.”
Varon said that medical professionals will be at the UMMC location until 6 p.m. Friday. When the day ends, Lee said she and the other will be working to get more tests throughout the weekend so they will be ready when the facility opens again Monday at 8 a.m.
They are expecting to be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Thursday, March 19
9:30 p.m. — St. Angela Merici parishioners among those who tested positive
The St. Angela Merici Catholic Church in Missouri City is warning parishioners that a married couple who attended 8 a.m. Mass on March 8, has tested positive for coronavirus.
Church leaders said on Facebook that the couple was seated in the seventh row from the front left of the church.
"The husband collapsed during the Mass and was helped out of the Church," officials wrote. "A number of us came to his assistance. EMS was called and treated him for dehydration. He was asymptomatic at the time."
All but one parishioner who helped the man have been notified. The church is asking for help in contacting one woman. You can click here to see the full post by the church.
Church leaders say the church will be thoroughly cleaned before it is reopened. Meanwhile anyone who sat near the couple is advised to review CDC guidelines and contact a health care provider for more guidance.
8:26 p.m. — Montgomery County confirms ninth positive case
A man in his 50s who lives in southwest Montgomery County was confirmed to be the ninth positive case in the county.
“He is currently hospitalized in critical but stable condition,” officials wrote, “His travel history is still under investigation.”
8:15 p.m. — Texas A&M student among those who tested positive for coronavirus in Brazos County
A Texas A&M student who traveled to New York is one of the people who tested positive for coronavirus in Brazos County, university officials wrote in a message to students Thursday.
After the trip to New York, officials say the student did not return to campus.
7:40 p.m. — 7 coronavirus patients have recovered in Houston area
As the number of positive coronavirus cases continues to climb in the Houston area, county officials had some good news to share Thursday.
Of the 24 cases of coronavirus in Harris County, three people have recovered, officials told KPRC 2. The first death in the county was reported earlier Thursday.
In Fort Bend County, four patients recovered from the 19 positive cases reported so far.
6 p.m. — Montgomery County woman is eighth positive case in county
Montgomery County Public Health District confirmed a woman in her 40s as the eighth positive case of coronavirus in the county.
“The woman, who is in her 40s, resides in Southeast Montgomery County. She recently traveled to Germany. She is currently in isolation in her home,” officials wrote.
3:34 p.m. — Fort Bend County announces 7 new cases including a child
The Fort Bend County Health Department announced seven new cases of coronavirus Thursday, bringing the county total to 19.
The 7 new cases are:
· A woman in her 40s with international travel who has moderate symptoms and is in isolation at home
· A woman in her 50s with domestic travel to a region with widespread local disease. She has moderate symptoms and is in isolation at home
· A man in his 40s with domestic travel and mild to moderate symptoms, He is in isolation at home
· A minor child with domestic travel and mild symptoms who is in isolation at home
· A man in his 40s with domestic travel and moderate symptoms who is in isolation at home
· A woman in her 30s with domestic travel and moderate symptoms who is in isolation at home.
· A man in his 30s with moderate symptoms who is recovering in isolation at home.
3:20 p.m. — New case announced in Houston
The Houston Health Department announced a new case in the city, bringing the area total to 65 cases.
“The new case, a female in the 50-60 age range, is hospitalized. She has no known travel or exposure history,” officials wrote.
2:50 p.m. — Elderly man dies from coronavirus in Harris County
Harris County officials say a man between the ages of 80 and 90 died from coronavirus. He was a resident of a nursing home in the northwest quadrant of Harris County.
"He was, unfortunately, at high risk for serious COVID-19 complications due to his age and underlying health conditions," officials wrote.
He was one of the confirmed cases the county announced Wednesday.
2:30 p.m. -- Brazos County reports new coronavirus case
A new case of coronavirus was reported Thursday in Brazos County.
According to officials, the new case brings the total in the county to four. Here is the information provided about each of the cases:
- Female in her 20’s who traveled to Spain
- Male in his 60’s who traveled to Colorado
- Female in her 20’s who traveled to New York
- Female in her 50’s who traveled to Colorado
All four people are being self-quarantined at home, officials said.
12:30 p.m. -- Abbott declares disaster, closes schools statewide
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday declared a public health disaster in the state over the coronavirus pandemic.
Abbott said the order, which is in effect until April 3, closes all bars and orders all restaurants to switch to takeout or delivery services.
The order also closes school statewide until April 3. The governor said schools should switch to online learning where possible.
People are also prohibited from visiting nursing homes and gathering in groups larger than 10.
Abbott said the last time a public health disaster was declared in Texas was in 1901.
Read more about the order here.
12:05 p.m. – Abbott provides update
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is scheduled to provide an update on the state’s efforts to combat coronavirus at noon in Austin.
Click2Houston.com plans to offer a livestream of the news conference in the video player at the top of this story.
9:30 a.m. – Harris County officials confirm 19th case in the county
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo gave an update on efforts to combat the coronavirus during a news conference at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
During the news conference, Dr. Umair Shah confirmed an additional positive case in Harris County, bringing the total to 19 for the county.
Shah said the man between 40 and 50 years old who lives northwest quadrant of the county and has no history of travel or close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, signaling community spread.
According to Shah, it is critical that the community continue to practice social distancing. This will give officials the best chance of getting through a surge of patients that are critical or require hospitalization.
During the conference, Hidalgo announced that Justices of the Peace in Harris County will not conduct eviction hearings until the end of the month. Hidalgo said she does not want people to end up om the street during this time.
She also urged people to continue to stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to leave, and if you do leave to please practice social distancing.
Hidalgo also said the port closure should not cause panic. Delays are built into the supply chain and officials are working to reopen the port as quickly as possible.
The Harris Center for Mental Health has a new hotline people can call if needed. The number is 833-251-7544. People can also find volunteer opportunities, a place to report businesses not complying with orders, FAQ and rumor control at readyharris.org.
Wednesday, March 18
10 p.m. — Bayport, Barbours Cut Terminals closed after confirmed case of coronavirus
The Bayport and Barbours Cut Terminals at the Port of Houston are temporarily closed after a confirmed case of COVID-19.
All vessel, yard and gate operations have been stopped until further notice.
7:30 p.m. — Brazoria County reports fourth coronavirus case
The Brazoria County Health Department said a man between the age of 55 and 65 is the fourth coronavirus patient in their county. The man lives in Manvel and is currently hospitalized and in stable condition.
6 p.m. — City of Rosenberg issues disaster declaration
Mayor of Rosenberg, William Benton, has signed a local disaster declaration for the city in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“This action follows the lead of Fort Bend County Commissioners Court and Judge KP George, who signed an extension to the Fort Bend County disaster declaration on March 27,” the city announced in a press release.
The declaration will remain in place until March 24, at which time a special City Council meeting will be held to determine if it needs to be extended beyond the initial week.
“As of now, the City will continue to hold public meetings related to City Council functions,” the city wrote. “The City is asking residents who are experiencing symptoms such as fever or cough, or those who have traveled or a member of their household traveled to affected areas or outside of Texas, to refrain from physically attending these meetings and other public places.”
5 p.m. — Harris County Health reports 5 more cases of coronavirus
The Harris County Health Department announced five new cases of coronavirus Wednesday. This brings the county total to 18. Officials said that three of the five new cases appear to be community spread with no travel history. Officials don’t know the source of transmission.
Here’s a breakdown of the new cases:
- A 30-40 year-old woman, who lives in the Northeast quadrant of Harris County- (Known contact with a positive COVID-19 individual)
- A 30-40 year-old man, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County- (Still under investigation)
- A 80-90 year-old man, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County- (Community spread)
- A 20-30 year-old man, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County- (Community spread)
- A 40-50 year-old woman, who lives in the Southwest quadrant of Harris County- (Community spread)
4:25 p.m. — Five new cases announced in Houston
The Houston Health Department announced five new cases of coronavirus, bringing the city total to 10 and the Houston-area total to 54.
The cases are:
- Male | Age 50-60 | No known travel | Hospitalized
- Male | Age 70-80 | Travel to New York | Home Recovering
- Male | Age 50-60 | Travel to Spain | Home Recovering
- Female | Age 20-30 | Travel to Mexico | Hospitalized
- Male | Age 60-70 | No known travel | Hospitalized
3:36 p.m. – Brazoria County reports third coronavirus case
A third case of coronavirus was reported Wednesday in Brazoria County.
Brazoria County health officials said this case was found in a 50- to 60-year-old woman who lives in the Pearland area.
Officials said the woman’s illness is related to travel.
This brings the total number of cases in the Houston area to 48.
You can read more about all of the Houston-area cases here.
3:11 p.m. – 2 new coronavirus cases reported in Galveston County
Two more coronavirus cases were reported Wednesday in Galveston County, bringing the total cases in that county to four.
One of the cases is a man in his 50s, according to Galveston County health officials. The other is a woman in her 40s.
Officials said both have recently traveled within the United States, but it’s not yet clear where they contracted the virus.
Both are being self-quarantined at home, officials said.
The total number of cases in the Greater Houston area is now up to 47.
You can read more about all of the Houston-area cases here.
2:40 p.m. – 7th coronavirus case reported in Montgomery County
A seventh coronavirus case was reported in Montgomery County on Wednesday, bringing the total number of Houston-area cases to 45.
Montgomery County health officials said the seventh case is a woman in her 60s who lives in northwest Montgomery County, who has no recent history of travel and no known contact with other COVID-19 patients.
The woman is being kept in isolation at her home.
More details about the cases across the Greater Houston area can be found here.
2:06 p.m. - The Galleria Mall, Katy Mills, Houston Premium Outlets temporarily close due to coronavirus outbreak
The Galleria Mall, Katy Mills and Houston Premium Outlets are temporarily closing its doors to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, according to Simon Property Group.
Simon Property Group announced the closure of all of its retail properties, including malls, premium outlets and mills across the U.S.
The closure will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday until March 29.
12:50 p.m. - Fort Bend County Health and Human Services reported two positive cases of the coronavirus
The Fort Bend County Health and Human Services reported two more positive cases of the COVID-19, bringing Houston area total to 44.
The first patient is identified as a woman in her 70s, with a history of international travel. Officials said she is experiencing mild symptoms and is in isolation at home.
The second patient is identified as a man in his 60s, the investigation is ongoing. Officials said he is hospitalized and in stable condition.
The Fort Bend County Health and Human Services released the following written statement:
“Fort Bend County Health & Human Services will expand the epidemiological investigation and will continue to lead the effort to quickly identify close contacts with these individuals. Close contacts may include family members, co-workers, emergency responders, and other contacts.”
11:58 a.m. - Two more positive COVID-19 cases reported in Harris County, health officials say; 13 cases in the county
Health officials have reported two new COVID-19 cases in Harris County. Officials said one patient is a 60 to a 70-year-old man who lives in northeast Harris County, and another patient is a 30 to a 40-year-old man who lives in southwest Harris County.
Officials said these two new cases appear to be community spread; there is no travel history and officials said they do not know the source of transmission. Community spread makes it harder to identify and contain the virus since anyone can become infected, officials said.
11:08 a.m. - Gov. Greg Abbott issues proclamation allowing postponement of local elections for May 2
Abbott issued a proclamation to suspended provisions of the Texas Election Code to allow political subdivisions to postpone their 2020 local elections. Local governments will now have the ability to postpone their May 2 elections until Nov.
"I strongly encourage local election officials to take advantage of these waivers and postpone their elections until November," said Governor Abbott. "Right now, the state's focus is responding to COVID-19 — including social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. By delaying this election, our local election officials can assist in that effort."
10:31 a.m. - Gov. Greg Abbott waives expiration dates for driver licenses
Abbott has ordered the Department of Public Safety to temporarily waive expiration dates for driver licenses, commercial driver licenses and other identification forms due to the coronavirus.
“Our top priority remains public health and safety, and we will continue to take action to ensure that Texans can avoid large public gatherings,” Abbott said. “Texas is at a pivotal moment in the response to COVID-19, and by temporarily delaying Driver License renewals we will help limit non-essential trips into public settings and slow the spread of this virus.”
The suspension will be in effect until 60 days after the DPS provides further public notice that normal driver license operations have resumed.
10:25 a.m. - Sixth positive COVID-19 case in Montgomery County, health officials say
Health officials reported Montgomery County’s sixth positive COVID-19 case. Officials said the man, who is in his 40s, is a resident of southwest Montgomery County. At this time, officials said he is in isolation in his home. The man has recently traveled to California, officials said.
6:03 a.m. -- 1 immigration court closed in Houston
The Department of Justice announced Wednesday morning that several immigration courts across the country are being temporarily closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In Houston, the court located on South Gessner Road has been closed.
Officials said non-detained hearings nationwide are postponed until April 10. Detained cases will be heard as scheduled.
Officials said people should check the agency’s website for updates about cases that were scheduled to happen at courts that have been closed.
Tuesday, March 17
9:45 p.m. — Matagorda County announces third coronavirus case
A woman between the ages of 50 and 55, who recently traveled to Washington state, has become the third person in Matagorda County to test positive for coronavirus.
“At the onset of symptoms, the patient underwent screening and testing for COVID-19 and stated that she ‘immediately went home to self-quarantine’ and that she has ‘been in self-quarantine since last Friday,’” officials wrote in an announcement of Facebook. “The patient reported that she has been in contact with State health officials who are monitoring her health status, and that she expects to hear from them ‘in the next day or two’ for more information on the expected duration of her self-quarantine.”
9 p.m. — Second death in Texas reported in Arlington
In North Texas, Tarrant County health officials say test results on a 77-year-old man who died Sunday came back positive Tuesday for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, according to a report by the Associated Press. In a statement, county officials say the man was a resident of the Texas Masonic Retirement Center in Arlington. Tarrant County teams are working with retirement center administrators to assess other residents and staff as a search is mounted for the possible source of the infection.
7:30 p.m. — New case of coronavirus announced in Montgomery County
A man in his 50s was announced as the fifth case of coronavirus in Montgomery County, officials announced in a press release on Tuesday, March 17.
The patient is a resident of South Montgomery County and had recently traveled to California. He is currently in isolation in his home.
There are four other cases in the county. Read more here.
6:27 p.m. — Cardinal DiNardo cancels public Mass indefinitely
Cardinal DiNardo and the Archdioceses of Galveston-Houston announced Tuesday evening that all public Masses are canceled indefinitely. Archdiocesan Catholic schools will also remain closed through April 10.
“The public celebration of all weekday and Sunday Masses will be suspended in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020,” the Archdiocese wrote. “Churches are to remain open for individual and private prayer observing their normal hours, as discerned by the Pastors.”
Baptism for babies are to be postponed, “unless there is danger of death."
”Weddings are limited to the celebration of the Marriage Rite outside of Mass itself, with no more than 10 persons in attendance, including ministers," they wrote.
6:13 p.m. — Texas A&M finals go online, school postpones spring graduation
Texas A&M announced Wednesday that students will take finals online and the spring graduation ceremony will be postponed.
"The university is planning mail delivery of diplomas to graduates (with normal shipping costs waived) and is also considering opportunities for in-person ceremony options later this summer for those May graduates wishing to do so," the school wrote. "There is no impact at this time to August in-person graduation ceremonies."
A 101-year-old tradition, Family Weekend, that involved dozens of events in April has also been canceled.
5:40 p.m. — Fort Bend County announces 10th coronavirus case in county
Fort Bend County orders bars and clubs close, restaurants restrict services:
From midnight Wednesday through April 1, Fort Bend County officials ordered bars and clubs be closed. They also ordered that restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-through services and microbreweries, micro-distilleries, or wineries may only provide take out, delivery, or drive-through services.
4:24 p.m. — City of Jersey Village issues disaster declaration
Mayor Andrew Mitcham of Jersey Village signed a disaster declaration Tuesday in response to the public health emergency created by growing coronavirus cases in the Houston area.
3:45 p.m. — Galveston city officials close public entertainment venues, limit restaurants
“Mayor Jim Yarbrough on Tuesday enacted two orders closing public amusement venues, including bars, and limiting restaurants to take-out, delivery and drive-thru services, following federal guidelines regarding Coronavirus and public gatherings,” Galveston city officials wrote in a press release Tuesday afternoon.
The new order will go into effect at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
“The second order limits restaurants to take-out, delivery and drive-thru only, effective 5 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Hotel restaurants will still be able to serve guests only. The order also closes bars, effective at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020,” officials wrote.
1:15 p.m. — Galveston County officials say they aren’t sure they have authority to close bars, restaurants
After reporting a new case of coronavirus, authorities in Galveston County said Tuesday they aren’t sure if they have the authorities to close bars and restaurants to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The statement came the day after a move by authorities in neighboring Harris County ordered all bars to close and restaurants to switch to only takeout or delivery services.
Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said he will issue a disaster declaration later Tuesday to prevent price gouging, but he said he believes the order does not give him the authority to mandate business closures.
Henry was joined by Dr. Philip Keiser, of the Galveston County Health District, for a news conference Tuesday. Both said they have asked the Texas Attorney General to weigh in on Henry’s authority.
When pressed on why they aren’t sure of their authority, Keiser suggested that if the media briefing had been delayed an hour, they might have had a clearer understanding of the law.
Keizer said he expects the county’s coronavirus testing capacity to increase over the next two weeks, and that will give him a better idea of how widespread the illness might be.
So far, there have been 36 cases of coronavirus reported in the Houston area, including one death in Matagorda County.
1 p.m. - Harris County Tax Office, Harris County Clerk’s Office make changes to operations
The Harris County Tax Office announced Tuesday that starting Wednesday, its operations would continue via the use of a dropbox instead of in-person interactions.
"All Harris County Tax Office locations will eliminate direct customer service transactions for the safety of our employees and the community,” Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar Ann Harris Bennett said. “The tax office is not closed. Employees will continue to provide services to those who usually visit a tax office location by accepting transactions by dropbox or mail. Customers are also encouraged to use the Tax Office website to conduct all other business.”
However, the Harris County Clerk announced it will close its main office and annexes to the public starting Wednesday, March 18 until further notice.
“We are actively monitoring government guidance and following protocols,” said Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman. “The health and safety of both the public and our employees is our highest priority.”
Employees will continue serving the public by email and phone. People can also access most services, including electronic filing in real property, electronic filing in the courts (county, civil and probate), personal records and electronic filing for campaign and personal finance online.
According to the news release, the clerk’s office is also working on a plan to continue to make voting accessible for the upcoming elections.
“I can assure you our office will do all it can to make sure voters are able to cast a ballot in the elections they qualify to vote in,” added Trautman. “Once the plan is ready it will be shared with the public.”
11:37 a.m. - Harris, Galveston counties report new presumptive positive COVID-19 cases; Houston-area total jumps to 36
Galveston County Health District confirmed its second presumptive positive case of coronavirus in a Galveston County resident.
The person is a man ranging in age 45-50, health officials said. Officials said his symptoms included fever, dry cough, sore throat, headaches, and body aches. Test results from UTMB showed he is positive for COVID-19, officials said. Results are pending confirmation from the Houston Health Department laboratory.
Officials said an initial investigation showed the man has not recently traveled or come into contact with another infected person. This suggests the first signs of community spread in Galveston County.
There are also three new COVID-19 cases in Harris County, officials confirmed. Officials said two people are men from northwest Harris County, and one person is a southwest Harris County woman. All of them are between the ages of 40 and 50, officials said.
10:43 a.m. -- Houston City Council votes to extend emergency health declaration through April
The Houston City Council voted Tuesday to extend the emergency health declaration signed by Mayor Sylvester Turner last week through the end of April.
The order led to the closure of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the cancellation or postponement of events sponsored by the city or at city venues.
City libraries will remain closed through at least the end of March, officials said.
Leaders said they hope to have at least two drive-thru testing sites up and running by the end of the week.
9:33 a.m. - Brazos County confirms first COVID-19 positive case
Brazos County announced Tuesday that its has confirmed its first positive case of the new coronavirus.
According to officials, the patient is a woman in her 20s who has no association to Texas A&M University or Blinn College. The Brazos County Health Department is working to identify and contact close contacts of the woman.
Health officials said the risk to the general public remains low.
8:42 a.m. – Several movie theaters in Houston area temporarily close
AMC, Regal and Alamo Drafthouse are among several Houston-area movie theaters that will be temporarily closed as concerns over the coronavirus continue.
The theaters join a growing list of gyms, stores and other venues that are closing for now.
Check the entire list here.
6:52 a.m. -- Bath & Body Works closes stores, online shopping still available
Bath & Body Works announced all stores in the United States and Canada are temporarily closing as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers received emails Monday.
“While our associates are home with their loved ones at this critical time, we’ll support them with pay, as well as look for other ways we might ease their concerns and share our appreciation for all they’ve done,” a statement from the company said.
12:10 a.m. — YMCA of Greater Houston announces temporary closure
The YMCA announced that after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo asked local businesses and groups to limit gatherings of groups larger than 10, it was decided that the YMCA of Greater Houston will temporarily close its facilities. All programs will be postponed as well.
There are some virtual options for people wanting to keep fit despite the closures including Yoga videos on YouTube, Les Mills virtual classes and more on the YMCA of Greater Houston app.
Monday, March 16
10 p.m. — Matagorda County announces first death related to coronavirus
“Matagorda County Emergency Operation Center was informed that the Matagorda County Hospital District has confirmed that we have a patient, a male in his late nineties, that passed away Sunday evening at Matagorda Regional Medical Center with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The patient was a resident of Matagorda County,” officials announced.
The Houston Health Department notified Matagorda officials Monday that the man’s test showed he was positive for coronavirus.
Over the weekend, the county announced a separate presumptive positive case.
“Per the State’s protocol, the State has launched an extensive investigation into this second positive case, as they have informed the Matagorda County Hospital District that evidence exists of a possible community link to the earlier positive case in Matagorda County,” officials wrote.
9:30 p.m. — Hobby Center closes through April 12
“In response to the CDC directive limiting group gatherings of 50 or more people and the declaration of a Texas state of emergency, the Hobby Center will close both Sarofim Hall and Zilkha Hall from March 17 through April 2,” officials announced. “We have determined that presenting these events would risk the safety and well-being of our employees and the people we serve. Closing our venue is the right action to protect public health.”
The Hobby Center is currently working to reschedule all performances scheduled there. Ticketed events that are on the list to be rescheduled include BAPS Live, Fiddler on the Roof, Secrets and Illusions, Apollo Chamber Players and Origins Dance Competition.
7:30 p.m. — LA Fitness closes all clubs until at least April 1; Life Time fitness says member has coronavirus
Life Time Fitness
A Houston-area Life Time Fitness member tested positive for COVID-19, the gym said in a message to patrons. The patient last visited the Greenway location on March 7, they said.
“While the Department of Health has not suggested any further action at Life Time Greenway, out of an abundance of caution, we also are conducting additional deep cleaning in the club.”
Popular gym chain LA Fitness announced it will be closing all clubs until at least April 1.
“All memberships will be extended to cover the time the clubs are closed,” the gym wrote in a message to patrons.
The gym said the health of members and employees was paramount.
7 p.m. — Houston Symphony cancels performances through May
The Houston Symphony announced it will be canceling all performances, concerts and activities through May 10.
The concerts affected by the cancelations are:
- Swing to Rock with Dave Bennett, March 20, 21, and 22, 2020
- Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, March 26, 28, and 29, 2020
- Chamber Music Series Concert with Cedric Tiberghien, March 27, 2020
- Andrés Conducts Mahler 7, April 3, 4, and 5, 2020
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, April 10 and 11, 2020
- Aretha: Queen of Soul, April 17, 18, and 19, 2020
- Heroes and Adventures (Family Concert), April 18, 2020
- Symphonie fantastique, May 1, 2, and 3, 2020
- The Music Critic with John Malkovich, May 7, 2020
- The Music of Whitney Houston, May 9 and 10, 2020
5:40 p.m. — Harris County orders all bars and clubs to close, restaurants to suspend dining in
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo ordered all bars and clubs to close for the next 15 days at least, starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. She also ordered that all restaurants suspend dine-in and only provide take-out, delivery or drive-thru options for diners.
Houston is the fourth big city to take these steps and Hidalgo, along with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner agreed that these steps were necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the area.
“None of these decisions that we are having to make are easy decisions,” Turner said in the Monday press conference. “They’re simply not easy. Especially, we recognize that when you’re making a decision, you’re impacting people’s livelihood and possibly people could be laid off or lose their jobs as a result of the decisions made.”
5:31 p.m. — HISD, Fort Bend ISD extends district-wide closures to April 10
HISD announced it will extend district-wide closures to April 10.
“All schools and offices are scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 13,” HISD wrote in a release. “District administration will re-evaluate on Monday, April 6, to determine whether a longer closure beyond April 10 will be necessary.”The district will provide parents with more information about online learning and alternative education options later this week.
Fort Bend ISD:
Fort Bend ISD will extend the suspension of normal district operations through Friday, April 10.
“The District will remain flexible as leaders plan for long-term delivery of instruction and continues to navigate the many details of this unprecedented situation,” the district wrote. “Please continue to monitor your email and visit the District’s website and social media channels for more information on plans to deliver instruction and information on our feeding program.”
Other districts closed through April 10:
- Klein ISD
- Alief ISD
- Needville ISD
- Lamar CISD
- Katy ISD (through April 13)
5:15 p.m. — Houston Health Department closes birth, death records office
“The Houston Health Department will close its Bureau of Vital Statistics (birth and death records) office to the public until further notice, effective March 17, 2020,” officials announced. “The closure is a measure to help contain and mitigate COVID-19 spread.”
5:02 p.m. — Galveston mayor declares emergency due to coronavirus
Mayor James Yarbrough signed a disaster declaration for the city of Galveston due to the growing concerns over coronavirus.
“This declaration ensures local taxpayers are reimbursed for certain expenses accrued by the City of Galveston as a result of the Coronavirus,” Galveston officials wrote. “The declaration also preserves the City’s right to take future actions deemed necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, no additional actions are being considered at this time.”
The city said it has stopped permitting for special events with more than 50 people through May.
“For the next 15 days, the City of Galveston is strongly discouraging any group gatherings of 10 or more people at any location, per new guidelines The White House on Monday,” the city wrote.
2 p.m. — Food Town announces ‘seniors only’ shopping hours
Food Town announced that while it will maintain its 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. store hours, it will open its doors an hour early for people older than 65.
“Access to the store at this time will require a Government-issued State ID or Texas Drivers License,” the retailer wrote.
1:14 p.m - Houston-area malls adjust operation hours in response to coronavirus outbreak
Effective Monday, some Houston-area malls will adjust their operation hours in response to the global coronavirus outbreak.
All Brookfield Properties’ shopping centers will operate from noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Customers at an H-E-B in Sugar Land waited in line to get supplies.
Some customers said they were limited to two gallons of water and were told the wait would be 20 minutes.
On Monday, Mayor Turner said grocery stores are not shutting down and there is no problem with the food supply chain.
11 a.m. — Mayor, H-E-B, other leaders talk about grocery stores in Texas
Mayor Sylvester Turner was joined by Scott McClelland, Joe Kelly, Christy Lara and other leaders to talk about how grocery stores in the area are handling the COVID-19 crisis.
McClelland, Kelly and Lara with H-E-B, Kroger and Randalls respectively said their stores are working diligently to keep shelves stocked and there is no threat to the supply chain.
McClleland said H-E-B is sanitizing stores twice a day and will be installing sneeze guards to help keep shoppers and employees safe. He also said H-E-B had 13,000 trucks out delivering supplies and will continue to ensure shelves stay stocked.
Kelly and Lara said Kroger and Randalls had distribution centers working around the clock to help keep a steady flow of supplies to stores.
Kroger will also be donating $3 million to Feeding America No Kid Hungry to help keep kids fed and work toward the company’s goal of ending hunger in the community by 2025.
Turner said people should not panic because there are plentiful supplies and to be mindful of the needs of others. Click here to read more about how grocery stores are handling the crisis.
9:09 a.m. - Governor Abbott waives STAAR testing requirements for 2019-2020 school year
Governor Greg Abbott announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.
Additionally, Abbott is requesting that the Department of Education waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.
Abbott said he is working closely with the Texas Education Agency to ensure that schools continue to deliver instruction to students while students are absent or while schools are closed due to COVID-19. This includes tailoring instruction for students with special needs so that they have access to the same education as other students in the district.
8:53 a.m. - Two news conferences today
We’re planning to stream two news conferences about the coronavirus today.
The first is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. That is when Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is expected to speak at a grocery store about people who are stockpiling supplies and the modified hours of some stores.
The second is an update from the federal government’s coronavirus taskforce. It was originally scheduled to being at 9:30 a.m., but was rescheduled to 2:30 p.m.
We’re planning to stream both of those events live at the top of this story when they happen.
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