Coronavirus Update

Earlier this week the House Committee on Public Health that I serve on held a hearing to hear from two-dozen health officials and experts on what every level of government in the state is doing to combat and prepare for COVID-19 (commonly refereed to as the coronavirus).

At the hearing state and local officials described how they are working together on a daily basis to help all levels of government be better prepared to deal with the spread of the disease.

There have been multiple cases in the Houston Area, and in all likelihood there will be more. That is why I support Mayor Sylvester Turner and Judge Lina Hidalgo’s decision to cancel the Houston Rodeo and take other preventative measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Please click here to read an update from Harris County on what steps you should take to help limit the spread of the disease

However, this is not the time to panic, but the time to make sure each of us are  practicing Public Health 101, to limit the spread of the virus. To help prevent the spread of the disease and keep your family healthy by:

  • Washing  your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
    • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID‑19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID‑19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
For more information on the disease please visit the Harris County Health Coronavirus page by clicking here, or the DSHS Coronavirus page by clicking here. Also, our allies at the AFL-CIO have also put together a resource page with industry specific resources you can access by clicking here.
Additionally, the Houston Health Department is operating a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call center for Houston residents needing more information COVID-19.

Houstonians can call the center at 832-393-4220 to speak to department staff and obtain information about the disease or get their questions answered.

The call center will open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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