HOUSTON – The City of Houston is encouraging everyone to follow the CDC guidelines for large events and mass gatherings. City and health officials are recommending everyone to cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more, however President Donald Trump has suggested avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.
Here’s what the city is doing locally to ensure the safety of its residents:
- Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced the cancellation of city sponsored, produced and permitted events through April 30, 2020.
- Vote passed to continue the disaster resolution indefinitely.
- Houston Public Libraries will remain closed.
- Starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020 (4) drive-in testing stations will soft launch: 2 in the City of Houston (Butler Stadium and Delmar Stadium) and 2 in Harris County (Campbell Center and Berry Center). The city is awaiting the PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment – HAZMAT) and swabs for the testing to arrive from the federal government.
- Proclamations will be postponed until the end of April 2020.
- Private testing will be available at Quest Labs and Lap Corp at $150.00 per test.
- The Department of Public Works announced the COH water is safe. Public Works is advising residents to only flush toilet paper in small amounts at a time. Wipes and other objects should not be flushed down toilets.
- As of 8 a.m. on March 18, restaurants were ordered to close their dine in options and continue their services via take out, delivery and drive through for the next 15 days. Bars and clubs must close.
Food distribution sites at area schools
HISD, in partnership with the Houston Food Bank School Market program, offered daily food distribution at 36 campuses.
Meal distribution sites, open to all families, have been strategically located throughout the district to ensure all families have access. Meals were distributed in the parking lot. The program, which was scheduled to end March 20, will be evaluated and extended, as needed.
As families gather at the food distribution sites, it’s important to practice social distancing as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of illness. The CDC encourages maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from other people.
HISD is continuing to monitor the situation and stay in close contact with health and education officials and will provide updates as necessary. Families are encouraged to bring their own bags, totes, or other storage when visiting meal distribution locations. For updates and information, please visit www.houstonisd.org/HealthAlerts
On Monday, March 16, Fort Bend ISD began offering “Grab and Go” meals at no cost to anyone 18 and under and to students with disabilities without regards to age, at 11 campuses from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday. Children do not need to be enrolled in Fort Bend ISD to get free breakfast and lunch, but all children will need to be present in order to pick up the meals.
Aldine ISD Child Nutrition Services provided free meals during the week of March 16-20 and on March 23. To provide additional support to families, Child Nutrition staff offered Grab and Go breakfast and a hot lunch via curbside service, at select campuses. Students 18 and under had to be present to receive meals. Breakfast was served from 7:30 to 9 a.m., and lunch was served 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Meals were located at the front of each school.
The district is following the guidance and expertise of the CDC as well as local and state health agencies. The latest updates and changes can be found here at AldineISD.org/healthalerts.
***Lists will be updated online at AframNews.com***
METRO understands the critical role public transportation provides for the region and is continuing to expand its public service efforts to help safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
As of 3/16:
- More buses will be put in service on heavily traveled local routes in order to lessen crowding
- Approximately 50 percent fewer seats will be available on buses
- There will be fewer available seats on light rail and METROLift as well
These additional safety measures are designed to encourage responsible
social distancing on local bus routes, light rail, Park & Rides and METROLift.
Stay informed by subscribing to receive service alerts for the route(s) of your choice. METRO will send real-time, personalized route information straight to your email for free. It takes just seconds to subscribe.
As always, METRO Customer Service can be reached at 713-635-4000.
Information has been updated on the www.ridemetro.org website. Please see below addressing “social distancing”.
In addition to the steps above, the Authority will continue:
- Putting an even greater emphasis on disinfecting surfaces frequently touched by the public during our daily bus and rail cleaning
- Displaying posters along the system reminding riders of public health officials’ recommendations to stop the spread of germs
- Communicating safety messages on service alerts