Mixed messages from state and local leaders surrounding COVID-19 pandemic

HOUSTON – Depending on whether you were listening to the governor, mayor or Harris County judge, you might have a different outlook on how we are doing in the fight against the coronavirus.

Everyone agreed there’s still work to do, but there was a difference in tone when it comes to flattening the curve.

The contrast was seen Tuesday during each individual press conference.

Gov. Abbott touched on the numbers during an interview with KPRC 2, saying, “Harris County, like the state of Texas, is doing well. Both in the City of Houston and in Harris County, your numbers are flattening just like the numbers in the state of Texas.”

Mayor Sylvester Turner seemed to be cautiously optimistic, reporting only 20 news cases Tuesday, and no deaths.

The mayor said safety measures were working and stressed the need for continued testing.

“And the numbers I saw this morning, in reference to our hospitals that are a part of the Texas Medical Center, the numbers reflected that more people are being discharged from the hospitals than those that are within our hospitals being treated for COVID-19,” Turner said.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s take was a bit different though. She reported 146 new cases outside the City of Houston with one death.

The judge pointed out testing was of the utmost importance but also said the county was using data from hospitals to make decisions.

“These are COVID-positive admissions. The top is admission to the general population of the hospital and the bottom line is admissions to the intensive care unit and so you can see those admissions started rising, then they started to reach some sort of flattening and unfortunately, over the last couple of days we’ve begun to see a bit of an uptick,” Hidalgo said.

Everyone agreed there’s a continued need to ramp up testing and cautioned that it will be slow to get back to normal.

More coronavirus coverage

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• Haley’s Health Inbox: KPRC 2 reporter Haley Hernandez answers questions readers are sending her every day

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• Interactive map: This is what the coronavirus spread looks like right now across the world right now

• Support Local: Find all the ways you can help local businesses in Houston

• Get newsletters: Sign up for a daily newsletter on coronavirus news and Haley Hernandez’s health inbox newsletter

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