Here are things to know for Thursday, Feb. 11:
1. Houston one of five U.S. cities chosen as FEMA ‘super’ vaccination sites
The White House announced on Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is working with Texas officials to establish three Community Vaccination Centers for vaccination distribution in the state, including one in Houston at NRG Park.
Between them, the Texas sites will offer 10,000 vaccine doses per day, seven days per week, for the foreseeable future. Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said the Houston site will get 6,000 doses per day in addition to the weekly state allotment.
The ‘super sites’ in Houston, Arlington, Dallas and two others in New York are part of a FEMA pilot program to vaccinate vulnerable populations throughout the country. The Houston site is expected to being vaccinations on Wednesday, February 24th, representatives for the Governor’s and Lee’s office said.
2. Registration open: You can get vaccinated at select CVS stores within the following Houston-area towns
CVS has announced pharmacies will begin to administer COVID-19 vaccines to eligible populations at 70 CVS Pharmacy locations across Texas Friday, Feb. 12.
For CVS Pharmacy locations that will begin to offer COVID-19 vaccinations on Feb. 12, appointments were supposed to become available for booking as early as Feb. 9 as stores receive shipments of the vaccine. You can book your appointment here.
Supply for the limited rollout will be approximately 38,000 total doses, according to a news release. Participating pharmacies are in communities throughout the state, including Houston, San Antonio, Abilene, Amarillo, Beaumont, Brownsville, El Paso, Laredo, Lubbock, Midland, Plano, and Waco.
3. Viruses thrive at colder temperatures, local medical expert says
With cold temperatures headed to the Greater Houston area, a local medical professional asked people to continue to exercise precautions indoors. She noted viruses thrive in colder temperatures.
Dr. Linda Yancey, an infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hermann, said the medical community is in a race between the coronavirus spread and the building herd immunity from vaccinations. She said the cold weather contributes to a recipe for concern when it comes to spreading viruses.
“Most respiratory viruses are able to infect you better at lower temperatures,” Yancey said. “As the temperature goes down, the temperature in your nose and sinuses go down and then you’re more susceptible to getting all of our respiratory viruses.”
4. Tips for preparing your home, pets and plants for freezing temperatures
Mother nature is bringing an arctic blast to Houston early next week. Whether you’re hiring a professional or doing it yourself, experts said it’s time to prepare your home.
“It’s just being proactive and doing it,” said John Eccles, the Operations Manager at Nick’s Plumbing and HVAC.
During Houston’s last freeze in 2017, their call volume increased by 1200%
“We were normally answering about 100 calls a day at that point. We were answering about 700 calls a day,” he said.
Eccles said to start by letting cold water drip from your faucet.
5. What you need to know about the new $159 million COVID relief fund to help local families
The city of Houston and Harris County have established a new rental assistance fund designed to help families in need, according to a news release.
According to the release, the Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program will “provide relief for past-due rent, some past-due utilities, as well as some future rent payments.”
Landlords interested in participating in the program can enroll next week and renters will be able to submit applications by the end of February, the release said.