Mayor Turner urges Houstonians to follow Thanksgiving protocols as COVID-19 positivity rate reaches 8.8%

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks during a news conference at City Hall on Nov. 16, 2020.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks during a news conference at City Hall on Nov. 16, 2020. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner encouraged Houstonians Monday to follow health and safety protocols during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Turner announced the city’s positivity rate and current COVID-19 cases ahead of the holiday weekend. He said the Houston Public Health Department reports 463 new cases and three new deaths as of Monday. Turner said the city’s positivity rate is now 8.8% -- last week it was 7.9%.

Turner said the city’s original goal was to bring the positivity rate to 5%, but now, he’s only asking for residents’ help in not letting the rate continue to rise.

The mayor is asking for Houstonians to not gather in large groups or to have Thanksgiving outdoors with immediate family members.

Houston-area schools seeing an increase in students failing

When Turner was asked about Houston area schools seeing an increase in students failing classes during the pandemic, he said, “We need to be very honest about our schools remaining open for the rest of the semester.”

He said since the reopening of schools, campuses across the city are one of the safest places for the most vulnerable community and underserved student population.

“A student’s school is often the only place where students can feel safes from other environmental factors that impact their learning at home. They receive critical wraparound support services, food access, counseling, tutoring, and more,” Turner tweeted.

He said most of those infected with COVID-19 were exposed to the virus outside of school.

“Our education leaders have gone to great lengths to keep school buildings as safe as possible by requiring masks, social distancing when possible, ramping up cleaning and sanitation services and implementing holistic safety measures to respond to any potential virus spread,” Turner continued to tweet.

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