Turner: Houston’s positivity rate headed in right direction as area districts continue to reopen

Mayor Sylvester Turner gives an update on COVID-19 cases in Houston on Aug. 31, 2020.
Mayor Sylvester Turner gives an update on COVID-19 cases in Houston on Aug. 31, 2020. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday that the city’s coronavirus positivity rate was headed in the right direction as school districts in the area continue to reopen.

Turner said the Houston Health Department is reporting 158 new coronavirus cases and eight additional virus-related deaths as of Monday. That brings the city’s total cases to more than 63,800 and the total deaths to 820. Of these cases, about 49,135 people have recovered.

He said the number of new COVID-19 cases is low and he was proud to say the city is moving in the right direction. As of Monday, Turner announced that the city’s positivity rate is 7.8%, which is a significant decrease compared to last week’s positivity rate at 9.8%.

The mayor said although numbers are low, the city’s goal is 5% and below. Houston Health Department’s Dr. David Persse said it is important for the positivity rate to stay low ahead of school reopenings and virus season. Turner and Persse both said it is important for residents to continue wearing masks while out in public, avoiding large gatherings and crowds.

Turner also warned Houstonians to continue to be careful during the upcoming holiday weekend.

Houston Fire Department update

HFD Chief Sam Peña asked for continued prayers for HFD Capt. Tommy Searcy, who continues to battle COVID-19. The 17-year veteran of the Houston Fire Department is in critical condition at Memorial Hermann hospital in The Woodlands. Peña said another firefighter was hospitalized with COVID-19 but was not in intensive care. He said 66 firefighters are in quarantine as of Monday.

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