HOUSTON – The Harris County Commissioners Court resumed in-person meetings on Tuesday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.
Meetings had been virtual since the virus began spreading in the community in March 2020. The meetings will continue to be streamed live to offer public access to residents who wish to attend but are not physically able to be present.
Capacity will be limited to 75% and members who plan to attend in-person will be required to wear a mask and be subjected to temperature screenings.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo held a brief meeting during a break in the proceedings to provide an update on the county’s efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Today, first in-person commissioners court meeting since COVID started and that’s really a testament to each and every resident of this community who’s done their part,” Hidalgo said. “I think it’s safe to say at this point we’ve avoided the very worse of COVID, which so many other communities did have to face with their hospitals getting overwhelmed. We got very close to that but we never crossed that line and our numbers continue to trend in the right direction to where we were able to return to normalcy in this sense.”
Hidalgo said the county still has a little ways to go and said officials are seeing over 55% of the eligible vaccine population has received at least one shot and over 44% of the vaccine eligible population in the country are fully vaccinated. She said her one concern is amongst the unvaccinated population that people will stop taking precautions they need to take to prevent the spread of the virus and want people to continue to receive the vaccine. Hidalgo said the country plans to continue to encourage communities to get vaccinated and educate them on the vaccine.
“Two things, first get vaccinated, and second, if you’re not yet vaccinated, remember you’re not immune to the virus, so we don’t want you spreading that virus amongst you and other folks who are not vaccinated and we need you to take precautions until you receive the vaccine,” Hidalgo said.
The judge also said during commissioners court, they worked on worker safety. She said some studies say one in seven construction workers get injured and the county will take the initiative to keep them safe. On Tuesday, Hidalgo said the county has committed $1 million towards the worker safety initiative that will help provide training to all construction workers and contractors to reduce the risk of injury.