HOUSTON – The city of Houston seemed to be at a standstill Wednesday after Mayor Sylvester Turner, along with Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo President Joe Crowley and health officials confirmed the news no one wanted to hear: the historic Houston rodeo and all of its activities would cease immediately due to Coronavirus concerns. Everything was shut down. Carnival goers were told to leave the premises, services at food and vendor booths halted immediately and hearts across the city collectively dropped. Even the highly anticipated Lizzo concert scheduled for Friday’s Black Heritage Night and all concerts behind it for the remainder of the month were canceled out of an abundance of caution for public health safety.
Health officials confirmed that a Montgomery County resident who attended the HLSR barbecue cookoff on Feb. 28 had tested positive.
Also locally, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Regionals at Toyota Center March 27-29 to be played without spectators; University of Houston Athletics limiting the number of spectators to games until March 31; Houston Independent School District announced it would be limiting the number of campus visitors between March 23 until April 3; 2020 Tour de Houston scheduled for March 15 postponed until further notice; all events at Discovery Green canceled until April 1; Harris County Criminal Court’s #8 bond dockets (except arraignments) canceled; and several Houston-area hospital groups changing visitation policies: Houston Methodist, Texas Children’s, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Hermann, Harris Health System, HCA Houston Healthcare and CHI St. Luke’s, and nearly a dozen Texas universities decided to extend Spring Break, moving classes online
The Coronavirus did not just hit Houstonians hard; the nation as a whole felt its effect.
The NBA announced the cancelation of the remainder of the basketball season due to a Utah Jazz player testing positive for the illness, the E3 Video Game Conference was canceled, and President Donald Trump addressed the nation Wednesday night, suspending travel between the United States and Europe for 30 days. And the list of cancelations and changes continues to grow.
CITY OF HOUSTON HOTILINE: 832-393-4220
The Centers for Disease Control has providing information of what you need to know:
Who is at Higher Risk?
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like: ◦Heart disease
- Lung disease
Get Ready for COVID-19 Now!
- Have supplies on hand
- Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
- If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
- Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
Take everyday precautions……
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
- Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
- Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
- Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.
- If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus. ◦Stay home as much as possible.
- Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks
- Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
- ◦Determine who can provide you with care if your caregiver gets sick
Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs
- Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
- If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*: ◦Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
- Get medical attention immediately if you have any of the emergency warning signs listed above.