Neighbors Emergency Centers is monitoring the Coronavirus closely via the Centers for Disease Control. We understand that news of new diseases can be concerning, so we will add the most useful information and updates for our communities here.
**Due to CARES Act, COVID tests and COVID-related ER care are covered by insurance even when out-of-network for those experiencing symptoms or who have concern for exposure.VIEW LIST OF SYMPTOMS COVERED
Last updated 1/20/2020 | View Detail by County
Last updated 1/20/2020 | View Global Stats
These are cumulative United States stats starting from January 22, 2020.
Step 1 – Online Screening:
Once you have gone through the online screening process and deemed “at-risk” you will receive a unique code and a phone number to call.
Step 2 – Phone Consultation:
Call the given number and complete the phone consultation. If deemed “at-risk” you will be given another unique code and information of where to get your first test.
Step 3 – Testing Facility:
Proceed to the testing facility at your scheduled time. Be sure to bring with you a photo ID and other information as requested by your nurse screener.
You can call the Harris County Coronavirus Call Center at: 832-927-7575
If you are sick:
If you are sick and think you may have coronavirus, please protect your community and the healthcare system by staying home. 80% or more of coronavirus cases have mild, flu-like symptoms that can be treated at home with fluids and fever reducers. Only go to the ER if you are experiencing emergency symptoms, like difficulty breathing, dehydration, chest pain, or dizziness.If you feel like you need to visit a medical facility, please call first, and follow the directions of the staff. This allows the facility to communicate if they are able to test you, and prepare for you if they recommend you come in.
Please follow the CDC guidelines on caring for yourself and what to do if you are sick:
Update – October 8, 2020 | 11 AM
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday afternoon that bars can open up to 50% capacity beginning Oct. 14. All other businesses not yet open to 75% capacity will now be allowed to open to that capacity.
Update – July 2, 2020 | 5 PM
Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order Thursday requiring all Texans residing in counties with more than 20 cases to wear a face mask while in a commercial space or public buildings or when in an outdoor setting that does not allow for 6 feet of physical distancing.
The order goes into effect at 12:01 p.m. on July 3.
The order does not apply to anyone 10 years old or younger, individuals with health conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask or someone who is consuming food or drink.
Other exceptions while participating in outdoor activities or swimming.
Those voting or working at polling locations are not required to wear a mask, and masks are also not required for religious services — though face masks are strongly encouraged.
Anyone attending a protest or demonstration is required to wear a mask if there are more than 10 people who are not all from the same household and can’t practice social distancing.
Violators could face up to $250 in fines. People not wearing a face mask when required may receive a written or verbal warning for their first violation.
“Local law enforcement and other local officials, as appropriate, can and should enforce this executive order,” according to Abbott’s order.
Update – June 26, 2020 | 12 PM
Harris County Judge Hidalgo Announces New Stay Home Work Safe Advisory | Red Level 1
Harris County has moved to the “highest possible threat level” for COVID-19. Due to this, County Judge Hidalgo issued a new Stay Home Work Safe advisory, effective noon today.
The “Red Level 1” signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of Covid-19. This means that there are outbreaks that are present and are worsening and testing and contact tracing capacity is being strained or it’s been exceeded.
Under the new advisory, the public is urged to:
- Stay home, except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine.
- Avoid and cancel all gatherings of any size.
- Essential workers practice special precautions to prevent spread.
- All vulnerable individuals (65+ or with pre-existing health conditions) stay home.
- Self-quarantine for 14 days if in close and prolonged contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Wear face coverings to protect others.
- Avoid non-essential business and personal travel. Avoid public transportation where possible.
- Cancel visits to nursing homes, long term care facilities and hospitals.
- Avoid and cancel all indoor and outdoor gatherings, including concerts, rodeos, large sporting events, etc. Schools and after-school activities for youth close, as directed by educational authorities.
Today, also, Governor Greg Abbott’s announced a new Executive Order to Contain Spread of COVID-19. As the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 and hospitalization rates have increased, Governor Abbott issued a new Executive Order to limit certain businesses and services. The order states the following:
- All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12 PM today. These businesses may remain
open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
- Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
- Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
- Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
Update – June 22, 2020 | 2 PM
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s New Mandatory Mask Order
Due to the rise in covid-19 cases in recent weeks, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has issued a new Mask Executive Order beginning on June 22, 2020 and continuing through June 30, 2020, unless extended, modified or terminated early by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. The Mask order states that all people 10 years or older shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a commercial entity or working in areas in a commercial entity that involves close contact with others.
Face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:
- When exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside
- While driving along or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver
- When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk
- While pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment
- While in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening
- When consuming food or drinks
Commercial entities must provide notice to Employees and visitors of the new health and safety requirements. Failure to develop and implement the Executive Order within 5 days following June 22 may result in a fine not to exceed $1,000 per violation.
For more information on the new Executive Order visit: https://www.readyharris.org/Stay-Safe
Update – April 28, 2020 | 9 AM
Retail Stores, Movie Theaters, Restaurants and Malls Able to Re-Open May 1st!
On Monday, April 27th, Governor Greg Abbott announced a plan to gradually reopen Texas businesses.
During the press conference, Abbott announced the Stay-At-Home Executive Order will expire on April 30th and will not be renewed at this time. Abbott also announced the opening of several types of businesses that will be able to re-open on May 1, 2020
Abbott stated that it is not possible to reopen everything all at once in order to prevent a second, stronger wave of the virus.
Phase One of the reopening of Texas businesses is scheduled to begin May 1st. Abbott stated that if the virus remains contained, Phase Two could begin by May 18th.
Phase Two will allow even more businesses to reopen and expand the capabilities of Phase One businesses. Before Phase Two begins, Abbott stated there must be two weeks of data showing that the virus is continuing to be contained.
Abbott said Phase One emphasizes the protection of vulnerable populations, Senior Citizens ages 65 and over, and aims to allow them to stay at home. He also announced that all retail stores, restaurants, movies and malls will be able to re-open on May 1st, but will be required to maintain only up to 25% occupancy. Additionally, museums and libraries will be able to reopen, given they follow the 25% occupancy rules and do not reopen interactive features.
Abbott emphasized that this only allows businesses to reopen, not requires them to.
Additionally, he has allowed outdoor sports like golf and tennis to return as long as there are only four participants that are maintaining social distancing.
Abbott also allowed all licensed physicians to return to work with limited restrictions.
Abbott said he hopes to open businesses like gyms, bars and restaurants by mid-May.
Additionally, Abbott outlined three phases for the state’s COVID-19 tracing. Phase one, which has already been completed, mobilized 1,157 state and local contact tracers. Phase two, starting on April 27, will add an additional 1,000 contact tracers and phase three, starting May 11, aims to build a team of 4,000 contact tracers.
These contact tracers test those who may be affected, help isolate those who test positive and contact those who have been in contact with those people, effectively boxing in the virus, according to Gov. Abbott.
Update – April 17, 2020 | 5 PM
Governor Abbott’s Strike Force to Open Texas
On Friday, April 17th Governor Abbott released additional exceptions to his existing April 30th stay home Executive Order related to a phased approach to re-open Texas for business while maintaining the safety of all Texans. A strike force was created in order to guide best strategies for reopening business while preventing the spread of COVID-19. They will focus on using data related to the decrease in case counts in communities in order to guide decisions. There will be a focus on protecting the most vulnerable population and increasing testing availability. Additionally, Governor Abbott shared if a spread breaks out then consideration would be given to put restrictions solely on the affected community as opposed to the state as a whole.
Additionally, schools will remain closed for remainder of the 2019-2020 school year for public, private and higher education institutions. Teachers can utilize classrooms for virtual teaching or cleaning out as needed. TEA will be providing more details for public schools related to graduation ceremony guidance and for higher education related to summer semester guidelines.
Below are some of the updated Executive Orders from Governor Abbott:
On April 20th: State parks will be reopened; however, visitors must wear face coverings and/or masks, maintain social distancing, and not gather in groups larger than 5 people.
April 22nd: Healthcare restrictions will begin being loosened in order to allow for some elective surgeries and diagnostic testing with more restrictions lifted as the decline in need for hospital space and adequate PPE supplies are available. There will also be enhanced senior facilities standards and guidelines for nursing homes and assisted living facilities in order to minimize exposure to this vulnerable population. This order is focused on preventing the infection from getting into the facilities we will infection control policies and minimizing staff movement.
April 24th: Retail sector can re-open for patrons to frequent stores in a pick-up/to-go fashion. Ultimately, employers should ensure they are utilizing safe practices while reintroducing employees back to work. The best safety guidelines for retailers re-opening can be found at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/docs/ReOpenedRetailGuidance.pdf
April 27th: More announcements will come related to reopening Texas businesses based on new data of COVID containment and available testing sites and types of testing from both public health and the private sector. The goal is to increase those who are able to return to work and help offset the unemployment claims in Texas. All strategies will be considered for expanding the opening of more venues in the retail sector, restaurants, and entertainment sector when safe distancing can be implemented.
For additional information on the recent additional exceptions, please visit https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas.
Update – April 14, 2020 | 10 AM
Houston Health Department Expands COVID-19 Test Sites to Anyone Wanting to Get Tested at the Two Community Sites
On Monday, April 13th – The Houston Health Department announced that the two COVID-19 drive-thru sites will broaden testing to anyone who wants to get tested, up to a capacity of 1,000 per day.
These tests are free to the public. People interested in getting tested can call the department’s COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220 between 9 am and 7 pm to receive a unique identification code and instructions on where to go for testing, and how to get your results.
Houstonians may visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for updated information about local risk, routine protective actions, frequently asked questions, communication resources, rumor control, emergency preparedness tips and more. If you or your family are experiencing an emergency, Neighbors Emergency Center is here for you 24/7.
Update – March 31, 2020 | 4 PM
Houston “Stay Home, Work Safe” Order Extended until April 30
Judge Hidalgo released an extension to the “Stay Home, Work Safe” order Tuesday afternoon that is asking Harris County and all cities within, to stay at home and work safe until April 30th to help flatten the curve for our region.
This comes after Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered social distancing activities to be extended through the end of April for the state of Texas. Under these guidelines essential activities like grocery shopping, banking, and outdoor physical activities (except for beach access or utilizing playground equipment) are still permitted, as well as the operation of essential workers so long as workers maintain social distancing with 6ft from one another and take extra precautions for the health and safety of all.
Abbott also ordered schools to remain closed until May 4th, unless otherwise extended.
Update – March 24, 2020 | 5PM
Houston under “Stay Home Work Safe Order”
Due to the growing spread of Covid-19, City of Houston and Harris county have issued a Stay Home Work Safe order. The order is similar to what others are referring to as the “stay at home order”.
- What is allowed during this order?
- Activities relating to the health and safety of you, your family, and pets.
- Purchasing necessary supplies for your family and household.
- Outdoor activities (Walking, running, cycling) as long as there is 6 ft between you and others, and you do not touch hard surfaces.
- Working for essential businesses
- What are essential businesses?
should stay home unless you have an essential job. Essential jobs include:
- Grocery Stores
- And more…
- Visit https://www.khou.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/so-what-is-an-essential-business-or-job/285-1b1e3a7a-b176-426f-ad96-efc1255375fb for a list of essential jobs.
- Everyone should stay home unless you have an essential job. Essential jobs include:
- When does and why was does this order put into
- This goes into effect on March 24th at 11:59 pm and will stay in effect at least until April 3rd
- This was put into effect to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
For any Coronavirus questions or concerns, please call 2-1-1.
Update – March 20, 2020 | 1PM
Announcement from the Texas Department of State Health Services:
On Thursday, March 20th, Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, declared a public health disaster in Texas because COVID-19 “has created an immediate threat, poses a high risk of death to a large number of people and creates a substantial risk of public exposure because of the disease’s method of transmission and evidence that there is community spread in Texas.”
The declaration cites that “each person shall act responsibly to prevent and control communicable disease.” To do that:
- People, businesses and communities should immediately undertake hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation practices that are accessible, affordable and known to be effective against COVID-19.
- Limit trips into the public to essential outings. Traveling to work, the grocery store, the pharmacy or to seek medical care would be considered essential trips.
- Limit as much as possible close contact with other people. Stay six feet away.
- Do not gather in social groups of more than ten (10) individuals.
- Employers should allow work at home alternatives to the greatest extent possible.
- Restaurants should not allow dine-in options, either inside or outside. Take-out and curbside options with minimal contact are permitted and highly encouraged.
Neighbors Emergency Center will continue to update on the most current and up to date advice given by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Center of Disease Control.
For more information, please visit https://www.dshs.texas.gov/news/updates.shtm#coronavirus.
Update – March 17, 2020 | 10AM
USA: 4694 active, 4801 confirmed cases, 94 deaths, 13 recovered and rising.
Texas: 95 confirmed, 1 death, 0 recovered.
Fort Bend: 9