‘Not so fast’: Reopening is a slow process that will take teamwork, Hidalgo says

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HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo held a news conference Friday to announce new COVID-19 community guidelines as Texas begins to reopen.

The stay-home order for the county expired Thursday night and several businesses across the county are opening back up after being closed from months.

Hidalgo said that some people see Friday as a day of celebration, but her message to them is: “Not so fast.”

“Reopening doesn’t mean mission accomplished. It doesn’t mean that the virus goes away,” Hidalgo said. “If the virus spreads like wildfire and the hospitals run out of space ... things are going to have to shut back down again."

Hidalgo said that if we do the reopening step-by-step, there is a chance Harris County can succeed. The judge reiterated the three key components that she said will help Harris County in the reopening process: testing, tracing and treatment.

Dr. Mark Klotman, president and CEO of the Baylor College of Medicine, said medical professionals are beginning to get some sense that there are effective treatments.

“I know Methodist, Baylor and several other institutions participated in the clinical trial for remdesivir, which is the first anti-viral that’s coming online that looks to be effective against treating COVID-19,” Klotman said. “It’s a very well-established scientific principle. It interferes with how the virus replicates and we got a very positive signal from that, so there is a real reason to be optimistic.”

According to Hidalgo, there is a fourth, essential "T" that will help the community: teamwork.

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