Mayor Turner gives latest update on COVID-19 pandemic, answers questions regarding protests

 Mayor Turner pleads with police brutality protesters to keep rallies peaceful
Mayor Turner pleads with police brutality protesters to keep rallies peaceful

HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner gave the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic and answered questions regarding protests that have taken place in Houston in memory of George Floyd.

Here are the following subjects that were addressed during the press conference:

COVID-19 update

Turner wanted to emphasize that everyone is still dealing with the coronavirus and that it is still here despite the marches and protests.

The Houston Health Department reported 337 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the city’s total to 7,743. The total of new cases is from two days of reporting. The Houston Health Department reports two deaths, increasing the city’s total to 131 deaths.

Turner said 30 of those deaths are associated with nursing homes and three from Harris County Jail. He said the patients, a white woman in her 80s and a black woman in her 70s, both had underlying health conditions.

Turner wanted to remind residents that the city is still providing free testing sites. He said there are currently 27 sites throughout the city of Houston.

The mayor warned residents to not drop their guard while participating in demonstrations to avoid a surge in COVID-19 cases. He also reminded those who do protest to wear masks, social distance and practice good hygiene.

Turner declared Monday as a national day of mourning for people who died from COVID-19.

Hurricane season

Turner stated that hurricane season has officially begun and the city is keeping an eye on the system brewing in the Gulf of Mexico.

He said models show a possibility of development and the city is preparing if the storm impacts the area.

Officials said the Office of Emergency Management reminded residents last month about hurricane preparations and to make a plan, build a kit, know your neighbors and purchase flood insurance.

“Please be weather aware and weather alert. Hopefully, it does not come in our direction,” Turner said.

George Floyd and upcoming protest

Turner is also expected to participate in Tuesday’s march from Discovery Green to City Hall along with Floyd’s family. The demonstration is not sponsored by the city.

“I want to thank the people in the city of Houston, our marchers, demonstrators, protesters for behaving responsibility peacefully, especially Saturday evening, about 98% of people participating peacefully," he said. "So I want to thank you for that.”

He also thanked the Houston police for their professionalism and firefighters for the support they have given being on the front lines. Turner said he gives a lot of credit to Trae tha Truth and Bun B for organizing peaceful events and their efforts.

He said he wants everyone to be responsible and thanks Houston for not making headlines for riots. Turner said he wants the focus to be on George Floyd and to honor the family’s request by engaging in meaningful and impactful reforms.

Turner said most of those arrested during the weekend protests were from Houston. He said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo did inform him that some of those arrested were from out of town but the majority were from the city.

Turner said the city is not on curfew and hopes that will not be the case in the future.

“This is a salute to George and an acknowledgment that he should have not died the way he did. This is our home and this is George home,” he said.

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