Coronavirus in Houston: Updates, cases and news for April 26

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Here is a look at the latest COVID-19 headlines from around Houston, Texas for Sunday, April 26.

HOUSTON — We are continuing to track the latest headlines and updates regarding the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Get the latest updates and top headlines below.


This morning’s top headlines


Latest updates

Here are the latest updates from around the Houston area and the world (all times are Central/Houston time):

The latest numbers: There are 2.9 million confirmed cases worldwide with 203,332 deaths and 824,002 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins at 6 a.m. Central time. The U.S. leads the world with 939,249 cases. Texas Health and Human Services reports that as of very early Sunday morning we have 23,773 COVID-19 cases in the state with 623 deaths and an estimated 9,986 recoveries.

APRIL 26 7:50 a.m. — In much lighter news that may bring you a smile.. Watch: Saturday Night Live ‘at Home’ features Brad Pitt as Dr. Anthony Fauci! Dr. Anthony Fauci recently joked that if anyone was going to play him on Saturday Night Live, then obviously it should be Brad Pitt. On Saturday night, Dr. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, got his wish as the program returned for its second “At Home” edition. Read more and watch the sketch here.

APRIL 26 7 a.m. — China says it sees no COVID-19 deaths again | China on Sunday reported no new deaths from the coronavirus for the 11th straight day.  The country also confirmed 11 more cases, raising its total to 82,827. Five of the new cases were in Heilongjiang province, a northeastern border area with Russia that has seen a surge in infections. Another was in Guangdong province, a manufacturing and tech region bordering Hong Kong in the south.  The other five were imported from overseas. China has identified 1,634 imported cases in all.  View more national/world COVID-19 updates here.

APRIL 26 6 a.m. — What’s happening today (via the AP): 

— Nearly two months after an embarrassing end to his presidential campaign, Mike Bloomberg is again deploying his massive personal fortune — this time to combat the coronavirus.

— Nashville has a vibrant music industry and is known as the home of country music. But many musicians have been unable to collect unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

— Anzac Day, which marks the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915, is observed in a muted way.

— Criticism of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government mounts as the U.K. becomes the fifth country in the world to report 20,000 virus-related deaths.

— The Navy says the number of sailors aboard the USS Kidd confirmed to be infected with the virus has nearly doubled, rising from 18 to 33.

— A spring heat wave drove an uptick of people to California beaches, golf courses and trails.

APRIL 26 5:57 a.m. — Kids in Spain relish outdoor hour as virus lockdowns ease | Spain has let children leave their homes for the first time in six weeks. The move comes at the start of a week in which Italy and France also are expected to detail their plans to ease some of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns. Two weeks after he was discharged from a London hospital, Boris Johnson’s office said the British prime minister will return to work on Monday after recovering from COVID-19. Tentative hopes of a gradual return to normal life are combining with fears of a new flare-up in infections as nations around the world take divergent paths on when to reopen their economies after weeks at a standstill. (AP)

APRIL 26 5 a.m. — Some governments have begun easing their coronavirus restrictions, with India reopening neighborhood stores that serve many of its 1.3 billion people. In the U.S., Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska have also begun loosening restrictions despite warnings from health officials that it may be too soon. (AP)

APRIL 26 5 a.m. — Hundreds of workers at Ford, General Motors, Toyota and other companies have offered to work in a wartime-like effort to stem shortages of protective medical gear and equipment. Read more here.

APRIL 26 3:15 a.m. — Virus lockdown raises tensions in France’s poorest areas |  France’s coronavirus lockdown is raising tensions in housing projects and poor suburbs where many immigrants live. Open-air markets in these areas are closed, supermarket prices are skyrocketing and people are out of work. The mayor of Clichy-Sous-Bois, the scene of riots in 2005, has been sounding the alarm. Residents there and in other impoverished areas stand in long lines for handouts of food. Some experts warn of a deepening social crisis that could explode amid the health emergency. Alongside the food crisis, there have been scattered incidents of violence recently with youths confronting police. The French government has announced a plan for food aid of nearly $42 million for the needy. (AP)

APRIL 25 10:30 p.m. — Johns Hopkins University researchers say the global death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed 200,000. A tentative easing around the world of restrictions is gathering pace with the reopening in India of neighborhood stores that many people rely on for basic goods. India’s relaxation did not apply to hundreds of quarantined towns or shopping malls. The U.S. states of Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska also began loosening lockdown orders on their pandemic-wounded businesses. Italy said free protective masks will be distributed to nursing homes, police, public officials and transport workers, preparing for the return to work of millions when restrictions are eased from May 4. (AP)

APRIL 25 10:15 p.m. — Rep. Christina Morales and community partners will distribute 5,000 free masks to the East End Community on Sunday, April 26.

What: Free Protective Mask Give AwayWhen: Sunday, April 26, 2020, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.Where: HCCS South East Campus Parking Lot, 6815 Rustic St, Houston, TX 77087

APRIL 25 7:39 p.m. — Mayor Sylvester Turner is set to announce a new COVID-19 testing site for Houston at 10 a.m. Sunday. Officials said the United Memorial Medical Center testing site will be located near neighborhoods with vulnerable populations considered at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

APRIL 25 7:00 p.m. — Washington County reported five new COVID-19 cases.

Man, 50-59, community spreadMan, 60-69, community spreadWoman, 70-79, community spreadWoman, 80-89, community spreadWoman, 90-99, community spread

All residents lived in the 77833 ZIP Code.


Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.


Human coronaviruses are usually spread through…

The air by coughing or sneezingClose personal contact, such as touching or shaking handsTouching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.


Help stop the spread of coronavirus

Stay home when you are sick.Eat and sleep separately from your family membersUse different utensils and dishesCover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.Follow social distancing


Lower your risk

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.Avoid close contact with people who are sick.Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting ‘FACTS’ to 713-526-1111.


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