Report: If social distancing efforts don’t improve, Harris County could see a spike in coronavirus cases

Photo does not have a caption

HOUSTON – A new report by the PolicyLab and the University of Pennsylvania calculated new county-level projections for the coronavirus pandemic for nearly 400 counties nationwide.

When looking at the data, researchers concluded that reopening is possible when it is done slowly and with caution. However, researchers noticed that many areas in the south like Florida or Texas may have moved too quickly.

A graph with the projections for Harris County showed that the county peaked around mid-April.

During the height of the outbreak, around 65% or people were practicing social distancing, but since the reopening started, that has dropped to 39%, according to the graph.

“If people in Houston … aren’t being cautious with masking in indoor crowded locations and with hygiene and disinfection, local governments may need to intervene again should they lose control of the epidemic,” the report read.

According to the research, if social distancing efforts continue at the current rate, Harris County could see a huge spike in early to mid-June.

Local leaders have continued to emphasize the importance of social distancing, and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo extended the stay-home order through June 10.

“When folks ask, ‘Are we safe?’ I say, ‘We are no safer than we were in March,’” Hidalgo said. ““The moment we get over-confident, we put our community at risk.”

About the Author: