Houston coronavirus updates: What you need to know for May 1

Updated

12:14 pm CDT, Friday, May 1, 2020

Mayor Turner offered advice for Houstonians ahead of the city's reopening of certain businesses Friday.

Mayor Turner offered advice for Houstonians ahead of the city's reopening of certain businesses Friday.

Photo: Twitter

Mayor Turner offered advice for Houstonians ahead of the city's reopening of certain businesses Friday.

Mayor Turner offered advice for Houstonians ahead of the city's reopening of certain businesses Friday.

Photo: Twitter

Houston coronavirus updates: What you need to know for May 1

Chron.com is following the latest headlines on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Houston area.

12:10 p.m.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced during a Friday conference at Houston Transtar a fourth step to the mitigation plan she unveiled earlier this week to help reopen and restart Houston's economy.

The mitigation plan announced earlier this week calls for expanding testing, contact tracing and treatment options. The fourth step announced Friday, what Hidalgo called the fourth "T", is teamwork from residents to continue practice social distancing, wear face coverings and to remain vigilant of the virus, despite Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to lift the stay-at-home order and reopen some businesses.

"We can't ignore what is right around the corner," Hidalgo said of a possible resurgence of the virus. "Some see today as a day of celebration...my message to them is not so fast."

As of April 30, the total number of COVID-19 cases had risen to 29,870, marking the second-highest single-day increase, according to the Houston Chronicle's data team. The Houston region's county had risen to 9,230 with 185 deaths.

Dr. Umair Shah, Executive Director for Harris County Public Health, added that another component of the county's teamwork approach is for residents to stay cognizant of the people they are interacting with as they venture out into the community in an effort to help scientists and medical workers with contact tracing in the case they contract the virus.

"If you don’t remember, that makes our job extremely difficult," Shah said. "That really helps all of us in a situation...if you are tested positive."

Hidalgo said she will reissue another order in conjunction with Abbott's executive mandate and with the Attorney General clarifying which businesses are allowed to reopen.

8:45 am: Mayor Turner took to the podium Thursday night to offer safety tips and advice as Houston prepares to reopen certain businesses at reduced capacity Friday.

"Do not stop social distancing or wearing face coverings because the virus is still prevalent in our city," Turner said during the televised press conference.

The mayor was joined by the Houston's COVID-19 Recovery Czar Marvin Odum. The two offered an optimistic but cautious outlook on Houston's gradual return to normalcy

"As businesses reopen I will continue to stress the need for robust and ubiquitous testing," Turner said.

The Houston Health Department reported 98 new cases of COVID-19 and four deaths on Thursday. Coronavirus case numbers in Harris County continue to trend upward in spite of forthcoming efforts to reopen the economy.


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