Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced on Thursday that she is lowering the county’s COVID-19 threat level from Red (Level 1) to Orange (Level 2). Hidalgo cites lower hospitalization rates and COVID-19 cases dropping at a safer level, according to the news release.
In light of the lowered threat level, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also announced Thursday that he has dropped the face covering requirement for city of Houston employees (with few exceptions) and visitors to city buildings.
The city’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Persse, has agreed with the decision.
City officials, however, still urge residents who are unvaccinated to get their vaccine as soon as possible.
According to Harris County Public Health, Level 2 - Orange signifies a “significant and uncontrolled” level of COVID-19 in the county. Unvaccinated residents should continue to wear masks, physically distance, and avoid large gatherings, while vaccinated residents should continue to wear a mask indoors and during activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
The threat level change comes as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is set to begin on Monday.
To learn more about Threat Level 2 - Orange, click here.