The stakes are high. Yesterday, Texas reported 50 deaths statewide, the most in any one day since mid-March, and added more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19, the biggest one-day increase in infections in three weeks. Keeping our distance, wearing face coverings, and staying home from work, school, and social activities is exhausting and feels interminable, and many of our residents are suffering financially as a result. We all want to get back to work, see our friends, hug our family, go out to eat, and resume our livelihoods. But the orders and policies we have put in place have thus far kept the virus in check, kept our hospitals from overflowing, and saved thousands of lives.
The governor’s phased reopening will only have a chance of success if we do it that way – in phases. If a business is not “essential” under our order, or “reopened” under the governor’s order, it should not open. Most importantly, just because you *can* open, doesn’t mean you should. The resurgence of a virus that can knock us back down and put us right back where we began is right around the corner.
We in Harris County are doing all we can to put our county in the best position to succeed. Earlier this week I announced three pieces of our overall strategy to contain this virus as our Stay Home, Work Safe order expires and some businesses begin to open. It’s a strategy focused on expanding Testing, Tracing, and Treatment, which you can read more about below. Today, we’re announcing the final, necessary piece to ensure that this strategy is successful: Teamwork. You will continue to play a huge part in the containment of this virus — without your help, we won’t succeed. Please, continue to work and play virtually to the greatest extent possible. Wear face coverings every time you leave the house. And if you are eventually contacted by a Coronavirus contact tracer, please cooperate so that we can ensure more people are not infected with this deadly virus.
We are all doing our part to flatten the curve, but we still have a long road ahead of us to end this epidemic. I want you to know that we remain committed to taking whatever actions are necessary to save lives — not just the lives of people with the virus, but the lives of anyone requiring a hospital bed. We will continue this fight to keep you and your family healthy as long as we have to. Here in Harris County, we are in this together.