HOUSTON – 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 Thursday.
Turner announced that there were 48 new cases of coronavirus in the city and two more deaths, just 24 hours apart.
“Six deaths in the city of Houston. Six. And the goal is to keep that number down. You don’t want to lose a single person. One is too many but the number six deaths in the city of Houston. Forty-eight more confirmed cases today bring the number to 506,” Turner said.
Turner got a tour of Houston’s second COVID-19 testing site Thursday afternoon and a look at how it works. The site, in northwest Houston, is open to anyone who is symptomatic. Additional testing is crucial, the mayor stressed.
“The more testing we do, the better we can get a sense of the community spread that exists in the city of Houston,” he said.
He urged Houstonians to remain vigilant.
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 HPD employees had tested positive for coronavirus and two officers were hospitalized, one being put on a ventilator Wednesday night. Acevedo asks for the public to continue praying for the department. He also said a second officer is back at work after recovering from the virus.
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said 173 firefighters are quarantined, 49 firefighters have been tested for the coronavirus and 12 tested positive. Peña 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 personal protection equipment and masks to testing medical facilities.