Mayor Turner cautions residents to not 'rush out’ to stores, restaurants ahead of reopen Friday

HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner cautioned residents to not rush out to businesses, one day before restaurants and retailers reopen under Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order.

COVID-19 cases

Turner reported 98 new coronavirus cases and four more deaths, bringing the city’s case total to 3,613 and death toll to 56 Thursday. Houston-area cases topped 10,000 with 230 deaths so far.

RELATED: Track the number of cases, deaths and recoveries in the Houston area by county

Modified order

Turner said they have modified the city’s “stay home, work safe” order and that city permitted and sponsored events will continue to be closed, rescheduled and canceled through May.

Turner’s caution and warning

The mayor encouraged those who don’t have symptoms of coronavirus to take advantage of the additional testing sites in the Houston area. Turner also encouraged residents to continue to practice social distancing and wear masks or face coverings in public because the virus is still in the city. He cautioned residents to not rush out to stores and restaurants.

“If you come back together not social distancing, it’s almost like adding fuel to fire. It will come back can get reignited,” Turner said.

Health officials’ advice ahead of businesses reopening

The Houston Health Department officials also asked store owners to follow safety and health guidelines as they reopen. Officials also advised restaurants to flush water from all faucets for several minutes due to pipes not being used in weeks due to the shutdown.

“Water should be clear, odorless, taste like water. Problems? Call 311,” health officials said.

Houston Police Department update

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said an officer who is hospitalized with COVID-19 is still recovering and the department is remaining in good faith. Acevedo said crime and homicides are up. He said aggravated assault is up 8% and the department reports a 22% increase in burglary of buildings.

Upcoming announcements

Turner said details of a rental assistance program will be released Wednesday. All evictions are still halted until May 18.

Watch his full press conference below:

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Thursday, April 30, 2020

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