Judge Lina Hidalgo announces three key components to getting Harris County back on track

HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo held a news conference Tuesday to announce a coronavirus mitigation plan for the county.

Hidalgo said that while Gov. Greg Abbott’s May 1 timeline is a large feat, the framework laid out by herself and other Harris County and health officials will set a solid groundwork for the community to reopen safely.

According to Hidalgo, the community still has a major role in making sure the plan succeeds.

“Achieving containment that is sustainable will be a tall order given the May 1 timeline, and we cannot afford to erase the gains our community has sacrificed so much to achieve,” Hidalgo said. “Harris County will do everything possible to preserve what we have accomplished thus far, and this framework will help us get there.”

This is a plan that has been developed independently and was already in place, but because of Abbott’s announcement, Harris County is having to speed up the implementation of the plan, Hidalgo said.

The plan to root out, stop and contain coronavirus has three key components:

TestingGrowing our ability to test and to get tests to where they need to be. On average, every person who has tested positive has come in contact with about 20 people.Strike team in effect today. New popup locations starting Tuesday. The more tests we have the more proactive we can be. In order to test new cases and their contacts, we must keep new cases at below 100 per day.Want to urge the community to get tested. This is the key foundation to help contain the virus. It is only after the test results come in that tracing can come into play.TracingHarris County will exponentially expand the contact tracing workforce. Will contract around 300 contact tracers and will expand as needed.Want to hire an army of experts, contact tracers and more to get to that goal of 300. Want to get there as fast as possible. People are working day and night to get this done.We are not going to be asking you for personal information. We are asking for health information that will be protected, and that information will help fight this virus.TreatingHospital admissions not where they need to be. There is not enough of a buffer to be able to keep up with a second wave.Up to the community to help keep the hospitals below capacity and in a position to be able to handle another spike.We are doing everything possible to succeed, but still need people’s cooperation and effort to follow guidelines. If we get too lenient and fall on following the guidelines, virus could come back even stronger.We are still in the middle of it.

Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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About the Author: Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli

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