HOUSTON – Houston officials provided an update on the city’s efforts to fight the coronavirus crisis.
Here are three major takeaways from the conference:
Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed 615 new coronavirus cases, bringing the city’s total to 1,995 cases.
Officials said the influx of new cases is due to a delay in reporting. Half of the new cases reported Thursday were people who were tested in March, Turner said.
Turner also announced that the Houston healthcare system is still within its baseline capacity, meaning it is not overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. Yet, he urged people to continue to follow the social distancing guidelines to keep the number of new cases low.
Houston, Texas and the U.S. remain in immediate risk for the coronavirus. April is the month to mitigate the rise of new cases, Turner said.
Who’s dying from COVID-19?
Officials reported two new coronavirus-related deaths in Houston.
In total, 14 people have died, all with underlying medical conditions, Turner said.
“Each one comes from a family,” Turner said. “These families have been forever changed, and the city has a whole has been impacted by their loss.”
Officials also shared a breakdown of the demographics of coronavirus deaths: 57% black, 22% white and 21% Hispanic.
Most of the deaths are within the 60- to 70-year-old range, followed by the 40- to 50-year-old range, Turner said.
The youngest person to die in Houston from COVID-19 was in the 30- to 40-year-old range.
“We want to keep the death tolls as low as possible," Turner said.
Turner said more than 1,900 people in Houston have tested positive for COVID-19. He said the city is working to provide demographic data on all those who are tested positive.
Houston officials thanked residents for honoring the stay home orders. A recent study, conducted by Rice University Kinder Institute of Urban Research, revealed that more than 4,500 lives have been saved due to social distancing.
Closing city parks
Houston joined Harris County Thursday in temporarily closing all parks and trails this weekend, as they expect families and large groups to gather to celebrate Easter. The order goes into effect in Houston Thursday at sundown.
Watch the full press conference below:
WATCH LIVE: Mayor Sylvester Turner gives update on coronavirus response in Houston. MORE: https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2020/04/09/watch-live-mayor-turner-gives-update-on-coronavirus-response-in-houston/Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Thursday, April 9, 2020