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County Judge Lina Hidalgo: Indoor, maskless gatherings should not be taking place right now, and this applies to bars as well

10/08/2020

(Harris County, TX) - October 7, 2020, County Judge Lina Hidalgo today issued the followingstatement:

“Months ago,we established the Harris County Threat Level System - critical public healthbenchmarks to determine the county’s level of reopening and make way forsustainable, long-term reopenings. We have not been able to enforce the ThreatLevel System, which has led to a much slower decrease in the virusincidence. 

Statement from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on State Voter Suppression Efforts

10/01/2020

(Harris County, TX) - October 1, 2020, County Judge Lina Hidalgo today issued the following statement in response to Governor Abbott’s executive order closing down 11 mail-in ballot drop-off locations in Harris County 33 days before the general election. Governor Abbott’s proclamation reverses previous state guidance allowing counties to provide voters with multiple official ballot drop off locations and leaves Harris County with only one ballot drop-off site.

Statement from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Governor Abbott’s Reopening Plans

09/17/2020

(Harris County, TX) - September 17, 2020, County Judge Lina Hidalgo today issued the following statement in response to reopening plans announced by Governor Abbott:

“Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of our residents, trends are moving in the right direction, but we cannot let our guard down and we are not out of the woods. There isn’t a single person in Harris County who wants our businesses, schools or other facets of daily life to remain closed longer than they need to, but this virus hasn’t gone away and my commitment to the residents is to ensure the County’s position reflects responsible steps that must be taken for a sustainable new normal.

Harris County Establishes New COVID-19 Domestic Violence Assistance Fund

09/15/2020

(Harris County, TX) - September 15, 2020, Judge Hidalgo today announced that Harris County Commissioners Court has approved $2,178,550 to support survivors of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding, approved by the court, will establish a Harris County COVID-19 Domestic Violence Assistance program to bridge gaps in assistance for survivors by providing an array of services including childcare, food, transportation and housing.

Statement from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on the "Ike Dike"

08/27/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Thursday, August 27, 2020, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo today issued the following statement regarding the need to invest in flood mitigation.

“It shouldn’t take a near miss of a catastrophic hurricane to force our national leaders to recognize the urgency of investing in flood infrastructure, including a coastal barrier for Galveston Bay.

Harris County Commissioners Court to Launch Emergency Rental Assistance Program

08/14/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Friday, August 14, 2020, The Harris County Commissioners and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo unanimously approved a $15 million emergency rental assistance program to help individuals in Harris County suffering economic hardships due to the effects of COVID-19. Due to the overwhelming demand for rental assistance in Harris County, Judge Hidalgo and the Commissioners subsequently increased the amount of assistance to be provided through this program to $25 million.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo Releases Harris County Roadmap to Reopen Schools

08/12/2020

(Harris County,TX) August 12, 2020 - Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Harris CountyPublic Health today released a roadmap to reopening schools, a data-driven planto advise local school districts on what thresholds to use when considering to reopenschools. The guidance, developed based on national and international researchand with the input of public health experts and school officials, is designedto put Harris County schools on track for a realistic, responsible, safe, andsustainable reopening. It includes a common set of metrics school leadersshould rely on and actions those leaders should take once those milestones areachieved.

WHITE OAK BAYOU FEDERAL PROJECT EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED IN 2021

07/29/2020

(HOUSTON, TX) Wednesday 29,2020 - With the first of two remaining construction segments set to begin in fall 2020, the White Oak Bayou Federal Flood Damage Reduction Project is expected to be completed in 2021. Construction on the first 10-mile stretch of White Oak Bayou from Hollister Road upstream to F.M. 1960 includes excavation work to widen and deepen White Oak Bayou. Additional work includes replacing and modifying drainage pipes that direct stormwater into the bayou.

Harris County and City of Houston Local Health Authorities Sign Joint Health Order Requiring Suspension of In-Person Instruction for all Public and Non-Religious Private Schools Until at Least September 8

07/24/2020

(Harris County, TX) - July 24, 2020, Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health (HCPH) and Local Health Authority for Harris County, and David Persse, MD, FACEP, FAEMS, Local Health Authority for the Houston Health Department, today signed a joint public health order requiring all public and non-religious private schools in Harris County to remain closed to in-person instruction until at least September 8. The start of on-campus instruction and activity may be delayed further based on ongoing monitoring and assessment of public health mitigation conditions.

Statement from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on In-Person Instruction in Schools

07/20/2020

(Harris County, TX) - July 20, 2020, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Executive Director of Harris County Public Health Dr. Umair Shah today sent a letter to school district superintendents across the County outlining a series of recommendations schools should take to protect the health and safety of students, teachers, staff, and the community as a whole, including delayed opening for in-person instruction.

Application Period Opens for Harris County Small Business Recovery Fund

07/13/2020

(Harris County, TX) - July 13, 2020, Eligible businesses can apply for financial assistance through the Harris County Small Business Recovery Fund today through Friday, July 24. The $30 million grant program, which was unanimously approved by the Harris County Commissioners Court on June 30, prioritizes struggling small businesses that have not yet received funds from other COVID-19 relief programs.

City of Houston, Harris County and Coalition For the Homeless Announce Joint $65M Plan to House 5,000 People Experiencing Homelessness

07/01/2020

(Houston, Texas) — July 1, 2020, The City of Houston, Harris County, and the Coalition for the Homeless today announced a joint, $65-million plan to house 5,000 people experiencing homelessness over the next two years to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Community-wide COVID-19 Housing Program (CCHP) represents an unprecedented coordinated effort on the part of the City and the County to address homelessness in the region.

Statement from Judge Hidalgo on COVID-19 Exposure

06/28/2020

(Harris County, TX) - June 28, 2020, Today, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced that she is self-quarantining after being potentially exposed to COVID-19 last week. The exposure came on Monday, June 22 via a member of the Harris County Judge’s office whose positive test results were confirmed over the weekend and is self-isolating. Judge Hidalgo and staff who were potentially exposed will be tested and are self-quarantining for 14 days from exposure until Monday July 6 following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Judge Hidalgo has not shown any symptoms.

Harris County Threat Level Upgraded to ‘Severe’ as COVID-19 Spread Continues Record-breaking Climb

06/26/2020

(Harris County, TX) - June 26, 2020, Today at noon, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo will update the county’s COVID-19 public threat level from significant (orange, level two) to severe (red, level one). Level one indicates a “severe and uncontrolled” level of COVID-19, meaning outbreaks are worsening, contact tracing capacity is strained or exceeded, and healthcare surge is likely. The elevation to threat level 1 - the highest in the system - comes as a variety of data demonstrate alarming trends that are on track to overwhelm the local healthcare system.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo Announces New COVID-19 Health and Safety Requirements for Businesses

06/19/2020

(Harris County, Tx) - June 19, 2020, As hospital admissions for COVID-19 continue to climb across the county, today, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed an order requiring businesses to generate, post, and implement health and safety policies which include, at a minimum, a requirement that workers, customers or visitors wear face coverings. The order takes effect at 12:01 am on Monday, June 22, 2020.

Harris County Business Health and Safety Policy Order (Face Coverings Requirement)

06/19/2020

(Harris County, TX) — Friday, June 19, 2020, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed an order requiring businesses to generate, post, and implement health and safety policies which include, at a minimum, a requirement that workers, customers or visitors wear face coverings. The order has been extended until at least 11:59 pm on Wednesday, August 26th, 2020.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo Announces Harris County COVID-19 Threat Level System as County Hospital Admissions Reach Highest Level to Date

06/11/2020

(Harris County, Tx) - June 11, 2020, As hospital admissions for COVID-19 in Harris County reach their highest level ever, today County Judge Lina Hidalgo unveiled a new public threat level system designed to help residents understand the threat level from COVID-19 and provide clear guidance on steps the general public must take to protect themselves, their community, and support the conditions to avoid a crisis and sustainably reopen the local economy. The system, informed by the latest data from local health authorities, research institutions, and public health experts, informs a color-coded level indicator for residents displaying the level of COVID-19 threat.

Harris County $30 Million COVID-19 Relief Fund Established To Support Most Vulnerable in County

05/28/2020

(Houston, TX) - May 28, 2020– Harris County has established the Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide much-needed relief to Harris County residents most impacted by the global pandemic. The $30 million fund, which will be administered by Greater Houston Community Foundation, aims to strategically serve a large number of the most vulnerable people, in particular county residents who may not be eligible for other COVID-related funding and/or who cannot afford to wait for assistance.

Harris County to Open Free COVID-19 Testing Sites in Pasadena and Cy-Fair

05/28/2020

(Harris County, Texas) - May 28, 2020, County Judge Lina Hidalgo and the Harris County Department of Public Health today announced the county’s two largest COVID-19 test sites will be moved to new locations. The testing sites will move to Pasadena and Cy-Fair from Baytown and Katy and will begin services June 1 , weather permitting. Saturday, May 30, will be the last day the Baytown and Katy sites will be open and residents in those areas who need to be tested are encouraged to take action to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Smaller mobile sites will continue to visit the Baytown and Katy area periodically.

Harris County Judge Announces Worker Protection Guidelines for Businesses, Manufacturing & Construction Reopening during Pandemic

05/21/2020

(Harris County, TX) - May 21, 2020, County Judge Lina Hidalgo today announced worker protection guidelines for retail businesses and construction sites as they reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommended guidelines, which include screening workers for symptoms, conducting routine disinfection, and staggering shifts when practicable, intend to provide baseline safeguards to ensure employees and customers are protected as facilities open for business and construction activity increases.

Harris County Judge Announces Framework to Guide County Containment Efforts COVID-19 Amid Statewide Orders to Reopen Economy

04/28/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - Today, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced a three-point framework designed to contain the spread of COVID-19 as a phased approach to reopen the economy across Texas begins to ramp up. The framework contains three key components, including increased tracing of positive cases, enhanced testing capacity, and continued efforts to ensure there is enough healthcare capacity to weather a spike in cases.

Harris County Judge Announces Strike Team to Bring COVID-19 Testing to Senior Centers, High-risk Communities

04/27/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Monday, April 27, 2020 - Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo today announced the launch of a Harris County COVID-19 Strike Team to identify high-risk congregate settings and bring testing to them. Starting Tuesday, the team, composed of county epidemiologists, public health experts, social workers, and testing staff, will conduct site assessments, provide recommendations or control orders where needed, and provide the ability to test large groups of residents and staff at locations such as senior centers, nursing homes, and shelters.

Harris County Judge Orders Residents to Wear Masks in Public for Next 30 Days

04/22/2020

(Harris County, TX) - April 22, 2020, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Wednesday issued an order requiring residents to wear masks when in public for the next 30 days, beginning on Monday, April 27, 2020. The order requires individuals over the age of 10 to wear a face covering, which can be a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief, when outside the home. Medical masks or N-95 respirators are not recommended as they are needed for health-care workers and first responders.

Governor Abbott, Harris County Judge Hidalgo Joint Statement On New Walgreens Testing Sites

04/15/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Wednesday, April 15, 2020, AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo today announced two new COVID-19 drive-through testing sites for Harris County in partnership with Walgreens. These sites are set to come online Friday, April 17th, and will have the capacity to conduct 200 tests per day at each location. For the past week, Governor Abbott has been working with Judge Hidalgo and Walgreens to bring these sites online and increase Harris County's testing capacity. Testing in these locations will be available by appointment and individuals will first need to complete a digital health assessment to determine eligibility using criteria establish by CDC.

Harris County Expands COVID-19 Testing Capacity with 2 Additional Pop-up Locations, Doubles Testing Capacity at Existing Sites

04/13/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Monday, April 13, 2020, County Judge Lina Hidalgo today announced two new Harris County Public Health (HCPH) mobile units will provide drive-through testing for COVID-19, adding up to 200 tests per day to the county’s current testing capacity. Each pop-up site, which will rotate locations across the precincts starting Tuesday, will be able to up to 100 drive-through tests per day. Additionally, testing capacity at HCPH’s two existing stationary sites will increase to 500 tests per location, per day, starting Wednesday.

TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF HARRIS COUNTY PARKS

04/08/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Wednesday, March 11, 2020, a Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency was issued to allow Harris County to take measures to reduce the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 and promote the health and safety of Harris County residents

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo Closes All County Parks

04/08/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Thursday, April 8, 2020, County Judge Lina Hidalgo today will sign an order closing all county public parks. The closures begin Thursday evening, April 9th at 8pm and will last through Monday April 13th at 8am; prohibiting the use of county parks.

NEW RESOURCE LAUNCHED TO HELP ESSENTIAL WORKERS FIND CHILD CARE

04/06/2020

(Houston, TX) - Monday, April 6, 2020 – Collaborative for Children and Workforce Solutions, in partnership with the City of Houston and Harris County, has launched a resource dedicated to helping essential workers find quality child care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The easy-to-use portal launched today at 8 a.m.

Harris County Launches Online Screening Tool to Streamline COVID-19 Testing, Two Additional Testing Sites for Residents

03/23/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Monday, March 23, 2020 - Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Dr. Umair Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health, City of Houston partners on Monday announced an online COVID-19 assessment tool for residents who believe they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever or dry cough. The online screening tool is available now at ReadyHarris.org.

Harris County Judge Hidalgo Releases Playlist on “Go Texan Day,” Official Start of Festivities for the 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

02/28/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Friday, February 28, 2020, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo will join elected officials, volunteers, businesses and residents to celebrate Go Texan Day and the start of official festivities for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. In the spirit of the arrival of this year’s festivities, Judge Hidalgo released a playlist showcasing her picks for music to celebrate rodeo season in Harris County, comprised of artists who have performed or will perform at the rodeo.

Statement from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo Regarding COVID-19

02/28/2020

(Harris County, TX) –  Friday, February 28, 2020 - We want to reassure our residents that their county governments are working closely with the local municipalities within our geographical boundaries and regions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses such as the flu and COVID-19. 

Harris County Judge Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Announce Restaurant and Bar Closures to Help Slow Spread of COVID-19

02/16/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Monday, March 16, 2020 - Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo joined Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to announce additional measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the Houston metropolitan area. The announcement ordered restaurants, bars, and nightclubs to close with the exception of take out, delivery, or drive-through services.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo Launches Coronavirus Rumor Control Resource For Residents

02/11/2020

(Harris County, TX) - Tuesday, February 11, 2020, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced a new resource for Harris County residents concerned about the spread of novel coronavirus (n-COV). Since the outbreak of coronavirus was detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019, several unsubstantiated and misleading rumors regarding the virus have spread across Harris County online and via social media.

Harris County Judge Hidalgo Releases Running Playlist ahead of Houston Chevron Marathon

01/16/2020

(Harris County, TX) - January 16, 2020, On Sunday, January 19, 2020, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo will join more than 30,000 runners, volunteers, and spectators from Harris County and across the world for the 48th annual Houston Marathon, the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. An avid runner who has trained to participate in this year's race, Judge Hidalgo released her personal marathon training Spotify playlist.

Groundbreaking Upgrades to FEMA National Wireless Alerting System to Improve Targeting, Message Size and Accessibility for Harris County Residents During Emergencies

12/19/2019

(Harris County, TX) – December 19, 2019 - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced major improvements to Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) messages, part of the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS). WEA messaging is used to communicate risks and threats through mobile devices like smartphones that are connected to cellular data networks. Common uses include extreme weather emergencies and AMBER Alerts. The improvement comes after substantial negotiation and input from the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HCOHSEM).

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