HOUSTON – Nearly eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, Houston and Harris County are experiencing a slight surge in new cases of COVID-19. Throughout the summer, these numbers decreased and held steady.
“The virus is very contagious and it’s still sickening people,” said Dr. David Callender, the president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Hospital.
In Houston and Harris County, there are more than 165,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. There are more than 27,000 active cases and over 2,200 people have died.
“In Houston, we are not in crisis mode and we don’t want to get there,” Callender said.
Callender says there’s been a slight increase in people getting sick, which started back in early October.
“We’ve seen the number of positive cases reported going up a bit. Our testing positivity rate is going up a bit on the other hand. Our hospitalizations are a bit, but they’ve stabilized really. They are not rising rapidly,” he said.
Dr. David Persse, the Chief Medical Officer for the city of Houston, says it’s too early to determine where the small uptick is coming from.
“It’s really hard, especially when it rises slowly. Whether it’s the schools reopening. If you want to blame Halloween, it’s too early for that," he said. " What I really think is people are fatiguing. They are tired of having to wear a mask. They are tired or not being able to visit friends and family members.”
Both health experts say things could change with the holidays right around the corner.
“One is the weather is changing and as it gets colder people are going to spend more time indoors,” Persse said.
Houstonians must do their part to stop the spread of the virus, according to Callender.
“Hopefully, we are not going to suffer the fate of El Paso and some of the other cities that are suffering right now,” he said.
To view the Harris County and Houston COVID-19 dashboard, visit here.