HARRIS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH
2 New Harris County Safety Proposals Would Limit Police Interactions In Certain Cases – Houston Public Media
Lead by Harris County Public Health, the two programs would create a mental health crisis response team and connect case workers with people at risk of getting involved in violent crimes.houstonpublicmedia.org
Mayor Turner, Houston-area school districts push to get families, children ages 12 and above vaccinated before going back to school
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and representatives from the Houston Health Department and several education leaders from different Houston-area school districts announced the “Super Saturday Vaccination Day” initiative Wednesday.
Harris County Won’t Continue Its Use Of The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine For Now – Houston Public Media
In a statement to Houston Public Media, Harris County Public Health said they'll continue to use the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the time being, but did not provide a reason as to why.houstonpublicmedia.org
Harris County Won’t Continue Its Use Of The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine For Now – Houston Public Media
In a statement to Houston Public Media, Harris County Public Health said they'll continue to use the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the time being, but did not provide a reason as to why.houstonpublicmedia.org
How The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause Is Affecting Houston (April 14, 2021) – Houston Public Media
On Wednesday's show: How the pause in distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is affecting Houston, the week in politics, maintaining good mental health amid the pandemic, and a competition of youth accordion players.houstonpublicmedia.org
More Than 20% Of Houston Residents Have COVID-19 Antibodies, Study Says – Houston Public Media
Around 22% of Houstonians have COVID-19 antibodies, according to initial findings from The Texas Coronavirus Antibody Survey. The study, the largest of its kind in the U.S., tested blood samples from 7,000 people between December and early March. One data point did surprise researchers: about 30% of children ages 19 and younger had these antibodies in Texas. "Children actually have a higher seroprevalence than adults do," she said, noting that over half of children with antibodies exhibited no symptoms of the disease. "One of the most important questions today for COVID-19 is ‘how long these antibodies last?houstonpublicmedia.org
Second doses of Pfizer vaccine coming to NRG. Here is what you need to know.
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department and Harris County Public Health announced Tuesday that scheduling will begin for the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at NRG Park. Those who do not respond or provided a landline instead of a cell phone will receive a phone call to schedule the second dose. Anyone who does not receive a call or text 48 hours before the second dose due date is asked to contact (832) 393-4301. Harris County Public HealthThose in this group will receive a phone call, text or email the day before the second dose due date to schedule their second dose. AdPeople will be able to schedule an appointment for the second day or in the next three consecutive days following the second dose due date.
Harris County, Houston health officials issue COVID-19 safety guidance for schools
HOUSTON – Health officials in both Houston and Harris County issued a list of coronavirus safety guidelines as the ending of the state’s mask mandate and capacity limits approaches. In a joint letter published Friday, officials at Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Department laid out nine points of guidance. New guidance for schools from Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Dept. Greg Abbott is no longer limiting capacity in private businesses and is lifting the state’s mask mandate. Abbott addressed schools in his order by requiring them to follow COVID-19 guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency.
Get on the waitlist: COVID-19 vaccinations and testing resume after record-setting winter storms
HOUSTON – COVID-19 vaccinations and testing can resume now that the winter storms that hit Texas last week have passed. People who had vaccine and testing appointments that were canceled due to the winter storms will be rescheduled, Harris County Public Health said. Those with appointments for their first or second vaccine doses, or waiting for their second vaccine appointment, will be contacted soon. HCPH said it needs additional vaccines to vaccinate everyone waiting for their second doses. “Testing is still critically important to help stop of the spread of COVID-19,” HCPH said in a news release.
Wintry weather delays COVID-19 vaccine shipment to Texas
FILE - In this file photo dated Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, a bottle of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on a table before being utilised (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)The Texas Department of State Health Services said the subfreezing temperatures across Texas delayed the arrival of the state’s weekly supply of the COVID-19 vaccine. “COVID-19 vaccine shipments postponed,” the department announced on Twitter. Postponed vaccinations will resume as soon as it is safe.”COVID-19 vaccine shipments postponed. #COVID19TX #HealthyTexas pic.twitter.com/NHMr0HpIqP — Texas DSHS (@TexasDSHS) February 16, 2021Many Houston-area clinics have paused operations during the storm. On Monday morning, the winter storm cut power to a Harris County Public Health Department building, putting 8,430 vaccine doses in jeopardy.
Power outage leaves health officials scrambling to administer 5,400 doses of coronavirus vaccine
HOUSTON – Harris County health officials scrambled Monday to administer 8,430 doses of the coronavirus vaccine after a power outage caused some of the vials to thaw. That led to 8,430 doses of the Moderna vaccine to thaw. County officials contacted Moderna and were given guidance from the vaccine-maker that the remaining doses could be refrigerated and used later. Houston Methodist’s statementIn a statement, Houston Methodist officials said they had received 1,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the batch of thawed shots. Ad“We didn’t waste a drop,” said Robert Schwartz, executive vice president of Houston Methodist Hospital.
Harris County will give teachers priority for 'leftover' COVID-19 vaccines
Teachers and school staff currently on Harris County Public Health's waiting list for COVID-19 vaccines now will be prioritized if there are any "leftover" doses at the end of each day. Dr. Maria Rivera, who is co-leading the Harris County Health Department’s school advisory group during the pandemic, told ABC 13 that educators will be called if others do not show up for their scheduled appointments. Educators who want to be considered for this priority access must sign up for the Harris County vaccine wait list. Currently the county works with the 21 school districts within its borders, as well as charter networks and private schools, to provide resources. In the absence of a more robust state plan to vaccinate teachers, Zeph Capo, president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers, said Harris County is taking a step in the right direction.chron.com
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo discusses advertising campaign aimed at COVID-19 vaccine fears
HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and officials from Harris County Public Health announced a new campaign on Thursday that is designed to address vaccine hesitancy and urge residents to take additional action to stop the spread of COVID-19. AdThe current phase of the campaign will focus on addressing vaccine hesitancy, particularly among communities of color in Harris County. AdImages from the advertising campaign announced on Feb. 4, 2021. (Harris County)Image from the Harris County advertising campaign announced on Feb. 4, 2021. (Harris County)“Each of us who live in Harris County are interconnected and we can only reach herd immunity if those who are still undecided about receiving the COVID-19 take action to protect themselves and their neighbors,” Hidalgo said.
Ask 2: Am I exempt from mask requirements if I’ve already received the COVID-19 vaccine?
A visitor wearing a mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 passes a sign requiring masks, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in San Antonio. As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. Question: Am I exempt from mask requirements if I’ve already received the COVID-19 vaccine? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends mask-wearing for individuals who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the CDC, experts are still learning more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions.
What happens to leftover COVID-19 vaccine doses?
HOUSTON – Criminal charges were dropped against a Harris County Public Health doctor who was fired after being accused of stealing a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine. The bigger question is, what happens to leftover doses to make sure they’re safeguarded at the various vaccination sites? Protocols and policiesKPRC 2 discovered the policies and protocols vary slightly between the different hospitals, counties and health districts that handle and administer the COVID-19 vaccine. “Accounting for medications is a process well known to clinical staff,” said Sally Sparks, Ft. Bend County Health and Human Services. If there are not enough staff to receive the unused doses, we allow Fort Bend County clinical staff to sign out the doses in the dispensing log.
Hidalgo Announces County Vaccine Waitlist and Turner Talks Second Doses As Bumpy Rollout Continues
Support UsOn Monday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced a new, simplified system for county residents to sign up to get a COVID-19 vaccine. If selected through the random prioritization process, county residents will be contacted by the county to schedule a vaccination appointment. The city’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Persse and Houston Health Department Director Dr. Stephen Williams both addressed second vaccine doses on Monday. On Monday, the Houston Health Department reported 3,039 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 new coronavirus deaths within the city. As of Monday afternoon, Harris County as a whole has reported 301,173 coronavirus cases and 2,874 deaths from the disease within the county.houstonpress.com
5 things for Houstonians to know for Friday, Jan. 22
Fired Harris County Health doctor accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccine, DA Kim Ogg saysA Harris County Public Health doctor is accused of stealing a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced in a press release Thursday. A week later, he told a fellow Harris County Public Health employee, who then reported him to supervisors. According to Harris County Public Health, the mishandling of the vaccine could result in the loss of government funding for the county, which sparked an investigation into the accusation. Harris Health System canceling COVID vaccination appointments due to short supplyThe Harris Health System has found itself in a predicament as they expect to run out of their COVID vaccine supply by noon Friday. But, industry experts say the shortage will affect much more than Harris Health patients.
Remembering The 400,000 Lives Lost To COVID And Searching For More Vaccines – Houston Public Media
Last week, there were on average 323 COVID patients hospitalized each day in TMC hospitals. Back on the week of Oct. 19, an average of 92 COVID patients were being admitted per day. Harris County Public Health reported a slight dip in their testing positivity rate, but it's still 19%. Right now there are over 2,200 COVID patients in Harris County hospitals, which is still a few hundred below our worst day over the summer. Just under 40% of the ICU beds are filled with COVID patients (581 people).houstonpublicmedia.org
Attorney for doctor accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccine says DA investigation false, client was following CDC, health guidelines
The attorney of a Harris County Public Health doctor held a news conference Friday to address the allegations accusing him of stealing a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg in a news release Thursday. The release said that a week later, he told a fellow Harris County Public Health employee, who then reported him to supervisors. According to Doyle, Gokal had been administering vaccines and overseeing a vaccination site on Dec. 29. A Harris County Public Health adminstrator stated that there are protocols in place to deal with unused vaccines and open vials, and those protocols were not followed. He is being prosecuted by the Public Corruption Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Fired Harris County doctor charged with stealing vial of COVID-19 vaccine
Steve Gonzales, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographerA Harris County Public Health doctor has been fired and charged with theft for taking a vial of COVID-19 vaccine, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Thursday. According to the statement from Ogg, Dr. Hasan Gokal stole the vial containing nine doses while working at the vaccination site at Humble's Lyndsay Lyons Park on Dec. 29. A week later, he told a co-worker, who reported him to supervisors.chron.com
Did you get COVID-19 over the holidays? Harris County advises people to get tested due to potential exposure
HOUSTON – Harris County Public Health is advising residents to get tested due to potential holiday COVID-19 exposure. Heath officials said even if a person visited with family members during the holiday, they should still get tested. Officials said COVID-19 infections from Christmas and New Year’s will begin to show up in the next week or two. Officials said it’s important to get tested as those in the high risk community continue to get the vaccine in efforts to slow the spread. Here is a list of HCPH test sites where you get your results in 3-5 days:Jan. 11 – Jan. 16- M.O.
‘On the road to a crisis’: Highly contagious COVID-19 variant reported in Harris County
HOUSTON – The highly contagious COVID-19 variant strand, first found in the United Kingdom, is being reported in Harris County and the state of Texas, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. Hidalgo tweeted, “We’ve confirmed the FIRST Texas case of the more contagious, ‘British’ #COVID19 strand #B117 in Harris County. Do your part.”NEW: We’ve confirmed the FIRST Texas case of the more contagious, “British” #COVID19 strand #B117 in Harris County. The Harris County Public Health also confirmed the first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, saying it is the first known case in the county and state. The infected patient is a man between the ages of 30-40 years old in southwest Harris County and has had no history of traveling.
‘Very limited supply right now’: Judge Lina Hidalgo discusses demand of COVID-19 vaccine in Harris County
“They’re in very, very limited supply right now,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, on the county’s supply of doses. Thus far, Harris County Public Health has received roughly 8,000 doses, according to Hidalgo, who adds most of the supply has been distributed to larger hospitals and retail pharmacies. “In Harris County they’re probably are a million people under groups 1A and 1B and we’ve only received vaccines in the tens of thousands,” Judge Hidalgo said. Harris County Public Health, which receives the county’s doses, learned yesterday it would get another 3,000 doses this week. Judge Hidalgo says this likely will remain the case until many more doses arrive, there’s also a data problem – and that doesn’t help, either.
School districts work with health agencies to get their nurses vaccinated
HOUSTON – With more doses now available, school districts across the Houston area are prioritizing the vaccination of their nurses. Helping with those efforts is Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Department, which will administer the vaccine for school districts in the area. Dr. Stephen Williams, director of the Houston Health Department, said the agency will offer vaccines to over 365 Houston ISD and Pearland ISD school nurses who are eligible to receive the shot as part of Phase 1A. Following the arrival of the recently approved Moderna vaccine, Houston’s Memorial Hermann Health System was able to begin scheduling appointments for school nurses who were not included in the initial vaccine distribution. With doses now allocated for school nurses, Williams said it is a priority for everyone who qualifies for the vaccine, to get access to it.
5 things for Houstonians to know for Wednesday, Dec. 23
Here are things to know for Wednesday, Dec. 231. President signs bill into law naming U.S. Post Office in honor of fallen Harris County Deputy Sandeep DhaliwalA fallen Harris County deputy who dedicated his life to serving the community is being honored with a U.S. Post Office being renamed after him. President Donald Trump has now signed a bill into law naming a post office after Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal. According to Harris County Public Health, it is receiving 3,000 doses to vaccinate hospital workers and residents at long-term healthcare facilities, followed by first responders and essential workers. The Moderna vaccine is a part of the shipment of vaccine for Harris County, following the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine that arrived last week.
Harris County Public Health to receive first shipment of Moderna vaccine this week
This week, Harris County Public Health is expected to receive its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization on Friday. According to Harris County Public Health, it is receiving 3,000 doses to vaccinate hospital workers and residents at long-term healthcare facilities, followed by first responders and essential workers. The Moderna vaccine is a part of the shipment of vaccine for Harris County, following the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine that arrived last week. According to Harris County Public Health, the vaccine won’t be widely available for Harris County residents until 2021. Once it is, residents will be able to receive the vaccine through more than 1,100 providers in Harris County including clinics, doctor’s offices, safety-net health clinics, and pharmacies.
You Likely Have COVID-19 Alert Tech In Your Pocket, But State & Local Health Departments Are Ignoring It
The only problem is state and local health departments have so far chosen not to use it. When residents in those areas find out they have COVID-19, they’re instructed to reach out to their local health departments, and are then given a unique code to plug-in to the health department’s exposure notification app to start the alert process. Frustratingly, Texas is one of the 32 states that’s turned a blind eye to this potentially powerful public health tool. “Texas has a decentralized public health system,” said Lara Anton, press officer at DSHS. “There are more than 50 local health departments that conduct case investigations for their jurisdictions.houstonpress.com
Harris County Public Health to conduct survey, go door-to-door to collect blood
HOUSTON – Harris County Public Health will conduct a survey to continue studies on the COVID-19 pandemic. “In an effort to better understand how many people in Harris County may have already been infected with COVID-19, officials with Harris County Public Health (HCPH) will be conducting a survey of randomly selected homes,” Harris County Public Health stated in a release. Once completed, the survey will assist policymakers and health experts understand how vulnerable the community remains to the virus, and how frequently asymptomatic or mild cases occur,” Harris County Public Health stated. - Identify the percentage of Harris County residents infected with COVID-19 with no symptoms, and- Improve public health messaging to help stop the spread of COVID-19. “This survey is a very important way that local residents can help public health workers fight this virus,” said Dr. Umair A. Shah, HCPH executive director and local health authority for Harris County.
Harris County Public Health Begins Door Knocking to Ask for Blood Samples
Spring, Texas – Harris County residents may be getting an unusual visitor at their door with an even more unusual request. Harris County Public Health plans to conduct a survey that will continue their studies on the COVID-19 pandemic. Harris County Public Health released the following statement:“In an effort to better understand how many people in Harris County may have already been infected with COVID-19, officials with Harris County Public Health (HCPH) will be conducting a survey of randomly selected homes. They will be wearing yellow vests labeled “Harris County Public Health,” as well as protective equipment, and will present the proper identification. “By finding out how widespread the illness is,” Shah said, “we can develop strategies that will help us control the spread of COVID-19.springhappenings.com
Harris County’s top doc leaving for Washington state
HOUSTON – The top health official in Harris County is leaving to become the next Secretary of Health for Washington state. Dr. Umair Shah joined Harris County Public Health as a deputy director in 2004 and has become a familiar face to Houstonians since becoming the executive director of HCPH in 2013. Shah has been a vocal health advocate amid the coronavirus pandemic, insisting people stay home as case numbers started to rise in March. He also pushed forward plans for COVID-19 testing and contact-tracing. Shah’s resignation is effective Dec. 18.
Here’s what’s happening in Houston in the week ahead
Take a look at some of the most significant Houston-area events and stories happening in the week ahead. Sean Rios, a 25-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, will be laid to rest after his funeral Wednesday. Harris County Public Health will conduct a survey to continue studies on the COVID-19 pandemic. “In an effort to better understand how many people in Harris County may have already been infected with COVID-19, officials with Harris County Public Health (HCPH) will be conducting a survey of randomly selected homes,” Harris County Public Health stated in a release. METROLift will transport individuals with disabilities to select sites within the Houston area, where they can receive a free flu vaccine given by TIRR Memorial Hermann clinical staff.
COVID-19 tests: These are the Harris County Public Health locations that don’t require insurance, citizenship or residence
HOUSTON – Harris County Public Health is in full force to make sure residents get tested for coronavirus. The Harris County Public Health is also urging residents to obtain their flu shot as soon as possible to avoid a possible spike, according to the release. Testing provided by Harris County Public Health does not require insurance, citizenship, or residence. Campbell Educational CenterAddress: 1865 Aldine Bender, FM 525, HoustonHours: Mon-Fri noon to 7 p.m., Sat. Sun., Nov. 15: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.Katy ParkAddress: 24927 Morton, KatyHours: Mon-Fri Noon - 7 p.m.
Multiple coronavirus-related deaths under investigation at Katy nursing home
KATY, Texas – Health officials are investigating a coronavirus outbreak at Heritage Park of Katy Nursing and Rehabilitation facility. Officials at Harris County Public Health said their initial investigation of the facility began on May 24, after three individuals tested positive for COVID-19. To date, there have been 14 deaths -- four confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 10 pending a medical record review. According to health officials, five residents and staff members are actively being monitored by HCPH for COVID-19. HCPH said they issued public health control orders to track the transmission of COVID-19 and deaths related to the virus.
15 deaths at Katy nursing homes prompts COVID-19 outbreak investigation, health offiicals say
HOUSTON A Katy nursing and rehabilitation facility is being investigated for a COVID-19 outbreak by the Harris County Public Health (HCPH) and the Texas Health and Human Services. HCPH reported Monday that 15 deaths six confirmed as coronavirus-related deaths and nine pending medical record reviews at Sterling Oaks Rehabilitation. The initial investigation started on July 3 after two people at the facility tested positive for the virus and were reported to county health officials. According to records, 88 residents and staff members are actively being monitored by health officials for COVID-19. Harris County Public Health released the following statement:The elderly and people with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems are at much higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19, including hospitalizations and death.
Harris County Public Health shutters COVID-19 testing sites due to inclement weather
Harris County Public Health announced it has shuttered all its COVID-19 testing sites Saturday due to inclement weather. Throughout the morning, several pockets of heavy rain moved through the area, prompting several flood advisories and flash flood warnings. Click here for more information on the county’s COVID-19 testing sites. Here are some easy ways to keep track of rainy weather as it moves through the Houston area. Check interactive radarCheck the forecastDownload our free Frank’s Forecast app
Harris County Public Health shutters COVID-19 testing sites due to severe weather
Harris County Public Health announced it had shuttered all its Houston area COVID-19 testing sites Saturday due to severe weather cause by Hurricane Hanna. UPDATE : All of our test sites are closing for the day due to severe weather. Please stay connected with us for any updates or visit https://t.co/6HoCBXNCbF pic.twitter.com/XVfFeV2JLD Harris County Public Health #SocialDistance (@hcphtx) July 25, 2020As Hurricane Hanna approaches the Texas coast, rain is expected throughout the Houston area. Click here for more information on the City of Houston COVID-19 testing sites.
Hispanic/Latino community urged to get tested as COVID-19 cases surpass other populations
The Hispanic/Latino community accounts for 38% percent of COVID-19 cases, according to Harris County Public Health. Those statistics and stories like Quinteros are the reason Houstons East End was chosen for a new testing site. The mobile site opened Monday morning at HCCs Southeast Campus located at 301 N. Drennan St. Monday morning with a long line. The challenge is getting more people within the Hispanic community to show up. Espinosa said while some contracted the virus through community spread and partying, he said others may have been infected on the job.
Fort Bend family struggles to schedule COVID-19 tests prompting local health departments to admit troubles
Three of the four Fort Bend County residents have experienced COVID-19 symptoms and battling to schedule tests. We are dealing with over 2,000 callbacks a day,‘” Tingler said. KPRC 2 reached out to the local health departments regarding COVID-19 testing capacity:Fort Bend County issued this statement regarding testing:Our COVID-19 testing sites have reached capacity for today. Harris County Public Health released the following statement:All Harris County Public Health testing sites have been overcapacity for the last few weeks. Houston Health Department responded with the following message:Our two FEMA-affiliated community-based testing sites (Butler and Delmar Stadiums) offer same-day appointments.
Ask 2: Are Harris and Fort Bend counties spraying for mosquitoes?
The original question: Are Harris County and Fort Bend County spraying for mosquitoes? The answer: The Harris County Mosquito and Vector Control Division typically only sprays an area if theres evidence that the mosquitoes are carrying a disease, according to Harris County Public Health representative Eduardo Miranda. Heres a look at Harris Countys mosquito-borne disease activity map:To track down the countys disease-causing mosquito activity, download the Harris County Public Health mobile app or visit its website. As for Fort Bend County, a similar process occurs. To view when a Fort Bend street or subdivision was last sprayed, click here.
Harris County COVID-19 testing sites closing Monday due to severe weather
HOUSTON – All of the Harris County COVID-19 testing sites have closed Monday due to severe weather, Harris County Public Health said. Harris County Public Health said they plan on reopening sites and resuming operations on Tuesday, June 23. 🚨URGENT: All of our #COVID19 test sites are closed today due to severe weather. If you had an appointment for today, please come back tomorrow with your code. #houwx pic.twitter.com/N3UFGE0DZ2 — Harris County Public Health #SocialDistance (@hcphtx) June 22, 2020If you had an appointment scheduled for today, HCPH asks that you come back Tuesday with your code.
Health officials are treating a northwest Harris County area after West Nile Virus mosquitos discovered Tuesday
HOUSTON – Harris County Public Health officials have confirmed the first sample of the West Nile Virus in a mosquito in northwest Harris County Wednesday, officials announced in a press release. “The WNV mosquito sample was identified in the northwest quadrant of Harris County,” officials wrote. The Mosquito and Vector Control Division of Harris County Public Health began treatment to the area where the disease mosquitos were found on Tuesday to reduce the risk of human infection. “Mosquitos are around throughout the year; however, they are more prevalent during the warmer months, and typically most active from June through October,” officials wrote in a press release. “Out of the 56 species of mosquitoes found in our area, only a handful transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika.”See a map from the Harris County Health Department that shows which neighborhood is being treated.
COVID-19 outbreak blamed for 14 deaths at Humble healthcare facility
HUMBLE – Health officials are investigating a COVID-19 outbreak at a healthcare facility in Humble. Harris County Public Health and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission said they started investigating the outbreak at Oakmont Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Humble on April 21, after two people tested positive for coronavirus. Officials said 56 residents and staff members are actively being monitored by the Harris County Public Health for COVID-19. The agency also issued public health control orders Thursday for the facility to ensure control of the infection along with prevention measures to protect the residents and staff. Health officials will continue to monitor the situation at Oakmount Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.
Texas is short of its contact tracing workforce goal by more than 1,000 people
Anger also has been directed at a $295 million, federally funded contract authorized by Texas health officials last month. The Texas Department of State Health Services performs contact tracing in parts of the state where local health departments cannot. (The 2,900 statewide contact tracing figure provided by Texas officials did not specify where tracers are located.) In some of the hardest-hit regions of the state, public health officials have declined to offer any details about their contact tracing efforts. Houston and its surrounding Harris County have a contacting tracing workforce of nearly 500, local public health officials said last week.
Harris County Judge says hospital admissions rose slightly in past few days, peak not reached
HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and county health officials said Tuesday that the county had not yet seen the peak of the coronavirus outbreak yet. Hidalgo was joined by Executive Director of Harris County Public Health, Dr. Umair Shah. The graph she showed in the press conference showed local hospitalizations increase steadily since March 12. There was a peak of hospitalizations around March 25 when the stay home, work safe order was issued for Harris County. The mobile testing unit has been an asset as officials are able to test high-risk populations in nursing homes and the Harris County Jail.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo provides tour inside call center responsible for health pre-screenings
HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo toured the Harris County Health nurse call center in southwest Houston Saturday. At the call center, several nurses, students, and volunteers provided health screening for individuals looking to be tested for coronavirus. "We have limited resources (and) limited tests, so it shouldn't be about who shows up first. If an individual meets the additional criteria, Harris County will direct them to a county testing site. For more information from the Harris County Public Health: www.readyharris.org
This is how Harris County Public Health drive-thru coronavirus testing will run
HARRIS COUNTY – Harris County Public Health has two testing sites in undisclosed county locations. “If we don’t protect them, who is going to protect us?” said Harris County Public Health director Mac McClendon. This is how Harris County testing will workAll staff members will be geared up. “We put our mask on and then we put our face shield to protect from any sneezes and coughs,” said nurse Harriet Lewis with the Harris County Public Health in a demonstration with the media. You don’t need to be tested.”For more information: visit the Harris County Public Health site at www.publichealth.harriscountytx.gov.
When will drive-thru coronavirus testings open in the Houston area?
HOUSTON – Dr. Umair Shah of Harris County Public Health sums up the rollout of drive-thru testing sites in a few short words: "This isn't just a simple operation." He is not alone when it comes to an understanding of the complexities behind drive-thru testing locations. "I think it's complex for a number of reasons," said Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack. The stadium will soon be home to a new drive-thru testing facility for Harris County and the surrounding areas. As for the site at Legacy Stadium, there was a call for transparency by one area resident during the build-out,"I don't know anything about this.
Harris County infant dies from flu
HOUSTON – An infant in Harris County has died from the flu. Harris County Public Health officials said Monday the baby’s death is the first death of a child in the county this flu season, which started in October. “This is a somber reminder of the danger flu poses to our residents, especially those who are more vulnerable to develop serious flu complications,” said Dr. Umair A. Shah, executive director of Harris County Public Health. “We urge residents to get a flu shot and protect themselves and their loved ones.”Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, coughing, a sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, aches and fatigue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 children across the country have died from the flu so far this season.