Houston coronavirus updates: April 25, 2020

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8:14 p.m. Missouri City reported new cases at the Park Manor Nursing Home on Saturday evening, but did not specify how many. Elderly living facilities have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus, and Park Manor disclosed 28 residents and staff members had contracted the disease in early April.

“This is a very fluid situation, but we are doing everything we can to address the pandemic in our community,” Mayor Yolanda Ford said in a statement. “We are remaining in touch with County and State officials, and receiving these updates, which allows us to effectively communicate with our community to ensure we flatten the curve.”

The state of Texas sent investigators to the property, which still houses residents. Outbreaks have also been recorded at nursing homes in Texas City, Tomball and La Porte.

6:58 p.m. Coronavirus cases and deaths jumped in Texas on Saturday, Jeremy Wallace reported. The state reported 967 new cases, the biggest one-day jump since April 10. Texas health officials have also reported 62 deaths in the past two days after averaging 24 per day the past week.

The statewide total increased 897 cases to 24,350, a 3.8% increase. Deaths increased by 33, for a total of  of 645 statewide since the outbreak started. Some good news, however: More than 20,000 Texans were tested for the virus on Saturday, a new daily record.

4:49 p.m. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and United Memorial Medical Care on Monday will launch the sixth COVID-19 drive through testing site, her office announced Saturday afternoon. The new site will be at the Barnett Sport Complex at 6800 Fairway in southeast Houston.

She will be joined by Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, State Sen. Carol Alvarado, Commissioner Adrian Garcia and Councilman Robert Gallegos. Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, has helped establish several testing sites in the Houston area. Turner said Saturday afternoon that widespread testing is necessary to slowly re-open the Texas economy.

3:44 p.m. Harris County announced 42 new coronavirus cases Saturday, along with two deaths. Houston disclosed 104 new cases and three additional deaths. The entire county now has 5,482 cases and 84 deaths. More than 1,500 patients have recovered.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and District F Councilwoman Tiffany Thomas helped distribute masks at Crump Stadium in Alief. Harris County will begin requiring residents to wear masks in public on Monday. Turner encouraged anyone in need of masks to come pick some up.

“These masks are for everyone,” Turner said.  “Doesn’t matter if you’re documented or undocumented, doesn’t matter your language, your religion, your age. If you’re living in the city of Houston, I want people to know we care about you.”

3:10 p.m. St. Pius X High School plans to have its graduation ceremony at a The Showboat Drive-In Theater in Hockley ne84 dxt month, the Leader News reported. The drive-in theater will host nine graduations for local schools, owner Andrew Thomas told the newspaper. Gov. Greg Abbott on April 18 ordered all Texas schools closed through the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

1:40 p.m.  Eleven Chick-fil-A employees in Beaumont have tested positive for the new coronavirus, according to 12 News Now.

The positive results came back after a total of 114 employees were tested Monday, according to the ABC affiliate. The other 103 were negative.

BREAKING: Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick has told me that 11 more Beaumont @ChickfilA employees have tested positive for #coronavirus. A total of 114 were tested on Monday, with the rest of the results (103) being negative. #12NewsNow #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/XFnC8L8XUi

— H. Tyler Seggerman (@TylerSeggerman) April 24, 2020

12:30 p.m. The World Health Organization has warned that people who have had the new coronavirus are not necessarily immune to getting the virus again.

“There is no evidence that people who have had COVID-19 will not get a second infection,” the WHO said in a scientific brief. “At this point in the pandemic, there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity to guarantee the accuracy of an ‘immunity passport’ or ‘risk-free certificate.'”

The health agency says it is reviewing evidence on antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19-infection. The brief says “most” of the studies show that people who have “recovered from infection have antibodies to the virus.”

But as of yesterday, no study has “evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 confers immunity to subsequent infection by this virus in humans.

10:15 a.m. For pharmacist and Dr. Adlia Ebeid, coming home from work has turned into “a strategic process to ensure I don’t expose them to what I may have been exposed to.”

Katie Day, a realtor, has gotten used to clients wanting more vacant homes, rather than buying where someone else has been living.

And the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life for Dr. Kristina Braly, a Memorial Hermann anesthesiologist.

“I think the majority of that is how we perceive the sacrifice of medicine. It used to be that you sacrificed milestones — family events, putting off big purchases, like owning your first home — because you are accruing a lot of debt with student loans,” Braly wrote. “But now it’s become: Are you willing to sacrifice your life for your job? And it really puts things in perspective because medicine is a calling. It’s not just a job. It’s not just a career. It’s a calling. But how far are you willing to go?”

The Chronicle asked Houstonians to tell their own stories about how life and routines have been upended by the pandemic. Read them here.

7:48 a.m.

The Houston Food Bank is gearing up for a second mass food distribution at NRG Stadium on Saturday.  The NRG yellow lot will be open from 4 to 7 p.m.  Approximately 5,000 packages of food will be handed out to families in need. The Houston Food Bank is partnering with HISD to help Houston families.

#HISD is partnering with @HoustonFoodBank to host mass food distribution from 4 to 7 p.m. TOMORROW (4/25) at NRG Stadium. Enter through Yellow Lot main entrance off South Main. More info: https://t.co/pDqsovJFoQ pic.twitter.com/SK5GFRIOUY

— Houston ISD (@HoustonISD) April 24, 2020

7:45 a.m.

Houston and Harris County residents will now be required to wear facial masks when they go outside starting Monday, April 27.  The City of Houston is opening up sites that will distribute free masks starting today.

7 a.m.

In defiance of Harris County order, Restaurant owner, Matt Brice opened Federal American Grill’s doors to diners Friday night.  Brice risked a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. No law enforcement officers or agencies attempted to stop Brice for defying the stay-at home order, Zach Despart and Marcy De Luna report. 

Diners trickled in after 5 p.m. and those without reservations were turned away.  One diner even carried an anti-Hidalgo sign that read “Democrats Against Lina.”

“We are ready to get out and have some fun with our girlfriends,” said Brenda Cheney. “I’ve read all the precautions (Brice) is taking, and I think it’s fabulous.”


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