HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and other health and law enforcement officials urged residents to do their part and follow health guidelines Friday afternoon after Harris County was upgraded to Threat Level 1 on the COVID-19 Threat Level System.
Earlier on Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott also ordered all bars in the state to close as of noon Friday and restaurants to maintain only 50% capacity beginning Monday.
Recovery czar Marvin Odum joined Turner, along with Baylor College of Medicine’s Dr. Peter Hotez, Houston’s health authority Dr. David Persse, Fire Chief Sam Pena, and Assistance Police Chief Finner.
All officials stressed the same point that Houstonians should focus on maintaining health guidelines so as to reduce the spread of the virus. Turner said he fully supported Abbott’s order to close bars. Turner also said
Hotez said some of the models he watches indicate that if the coronavirus case trends continue the way they are right now, Harris County and Houston could see upwards of 4,000 cases per day by mid-July.
Persse said while he is hopeful the new measures taken by Abbott will be effective in slowing the spread, people should keep in mind that “the virus is breaking every rule.” He said typically it takes about two weeks for the effects of a change like reopening or closing to show in case totals. However, with the “insidious” coronavirus, he said it’s been taking three to four weeks for things to change.
He said new case data showed that the average age of people testing positive for the virus had dropped dramatically and it was indicative that older people were being “very diligent” but younger people were still not taking the virus and health guidelines seriously.
Watch the full press conference below: